Lee Kum Kee Menu-Oriented Sauce: Sauce for Teriyaki Chicken

Lee Kum Kee Sauce for Teriyaki Chicken

I bought the Lee Kum Kee Menu-Oriented Sauce for teriyaki chicken from NTUC as there’s a promotion going on right now: 3 packets for S$4.95. I also got the sauce for tomato garlic prawns and ma po tofu (will blog about them later).

Lee Kum Kee Sauce for Teriyaki Chicken

I added the packet of sauce to about 300g of chicken wings (middle joint), covered the bowl with cling wrap and let it all marinate in the chiller for about 3 hours. [This one packet is actually good for up to 400g of chicken wings]

*Why marinate? Because I don’t eat chicken skin (for health reasons), it is important that the flavors are infused into the meat. If you eat the chicken wings with the skin on, then you can cook the chicken immediately :)

On the pack, it is recommended to “Bring Lee Kum Kee Sauce For Teriyaki Chicken (72g) and 2/3 cup of water to the boil. Add chicken wings, cover and cook for 10 minutes until done”

However, I decided to steam them all on a bed of xiao bai chye for 20 mins. Why put the chicken wings on the veg? To avoid the condensation from ‘soaking’ the chicken in water and causing it to lose its flavor.

*Why choose to steam the chicken? I could leave it to cook with minimal supervision and I could concentrate on the other dishes, and even take a few phone calls. :D

Lee Kum Kee Sauce for Teriyaki Chicken

[ The Taste Test ]

The chicken wings were really fragrant and very flavorful. That umami (meaty, savoury) taste is likely due to the Disodium 5′-Inosinate and Disodium 5′-Guanylate. [Yes, I read the ingredients list before purchasing this]

This pack just takes the guesswork out of recipes. I did not have to measure out any soy sauce and what not. I simply emptied the packet of sauce onto the chicken, let it marinate, and then steamed it. Super easy! A kid could do this, really.

As stated on the pack, the sauce can also be used for cooking pork, scallops and carrots.

[NOTE] There is no MSG added, but this sauce not only contains sugar, but also has High Fructose Corn Syrup added.

[ What I Learnt from "Cooking" This ]

I should have used a brush to coat the chicken with the teriyaki sauce before steaming. Perhaps then there’d be a more even coloring of the end product. :D Hehe! There’s always next time!

Lee Kum Kee Sauce for Teriyaki Chicken

Shin Minori Birthday Treat (1-for-1 Buffet) Not The Best Japanese Buffet In Town

Shin Minori has a Birthday special where you get to dine for free on your birthday if you bring a (paying) friend. *You’ll also have to be on their mailing list and print out a voucher and email.

I’ve eaten at Shin Minori previously with a pal. But since the bf wants to try their buffet, we had lunch there on my birthday.

image

For sashimi, I ordered only the salmon. But he went for a mixture. I took one slice from his platter and promptly spat it out. Because of the overpowering fishy smell. As if it had gone bad. The salmon is fine though.

And that sashimi was not the only thing I had trouble keeping down. The pumpkin chawanmushi and crab bean paste soup (kinda like a bisque) was nasty. Couldn’t eat those either.

What I did like though was the stir fried bean sprouts. I actually ordered two small plates of those.

There is also no dessert on their buffet menu. Not even fruit. And though it was my birthday, nothing special was done. They didn’t even bother to wish me a Happy Birthday. Hmm…

Will I be back again? The answer is obvious.

Shin Minori is also investing in technology. The last time I visited, there were no tablets in sight. This time round, some of the tables came with Samsung tablets for ordering food, while others still used the paper menus.

image

The buffet lunch costs $34. Green tea (refillable) at $1 per glass. So despite my meal being ‘free’, he still paid 40-odd dollars in the end, including the GST and service charge.

For the variety, quality and service standards, I don’t think it is value for money. Then again, I’m known to be picky about food. Go try it yourself and tell me if you agree with my take on Shin Minori. ;)

Awfully Chocolate at Vivocity: How Service Standards Have Dropped

Awfully Chocolate - Vivocity

After dinner at Jamie’s Italian (Vivocity), I had ice cream at Awfully Chocolate with my pal Steven and his wife. They shared the chocolate mille crepe while I had hei ice cream, which is my all-time fav.

Awfully Chocolate - Vivocity

It DOES look like a lot of work went into producing the mille crepe. However… it is tasteless. When I tried this after eating my ice cream, I really found this unappetizing. Steven and Melinda didn’t manage to finish this even with my “help”.

And the staff (two young ladies more preoccupied with chatting than serving customers) forgot about my ice cream. Though I had ONLY JUST placed my order. Hmm. I had to walk up to the counter to remind them.

And the ice cream was served like this…

Awfully Chocolate - Vivocity

Yup, that messy tub with a plastic spoon stuck into the ice cream at an odd angle, and with a slash down the middle. *slow clap*

I found the color of the ice cream a shade lighter than usual – they probably added less cocoa this time. It still tastes good though. Better than it looks, for sure.

Will I be back again? Probably not.

~

Awfully Chocolate seems to have a problem with staffing, or more accurately, staff who don’t give two hoots about good service, or about their jobs.

The last time I had Awfully Chocolate ice cream was at their Tampines One branch. The staff seemed to be ignoring customers because they were so busy chatting. I overheard their discussion about someone’s boyfriend, how they wanted to exchange handphone numbers, and was also made to feel sorry for interrupting their chat. A blunder made while counting out the change for me resulted in me getting a huge discount off my ice cream. Thank you, ladies. You would have noticed me frowning at the change I received if you had not been so eager to leave the counter and resume your chat. Oh well.

Steamed Chicken with BRAND’S Essence of Chicken

Chicken with brand's essence of chicken

I’ve always wanted to try cooking this myself: steamed chicken with essence of chicken. What would it taste like? I found out this afternoon. :)

There are many recipes online for this dish but I decided to just use what’s available in my fridge. Only chicken wings and thigh cuts were available so I used those. You can use drumsticks if you’d like.

I placed the chicken on a bed of xiao bai cai, added some prawns by the side, and shitake mushrooms, ginger, and wolfberries on top.

If you like your food well seasoned, you can add some cooking wine, salt or soy sauce, but I decided to just take the healthier route and skip all those, adding just the chicken essence.

It still smells wonderful, and tastes pretty good. People who don’t like chicken essence will probably never realize it went into making this dish.

I might add some sliced red chili and pepper next time for a spicier version of this dish. :)

Chicken with brand's essence of chicken

Organic Chiffon Cakes from Bud Of Joy

Bud Of Joy

In September last year, I did a review about Bud Of Joy’s organic goodies, and strangely enough, this month is September and I had a craving for those organic chiffon cakes! LOL!

I placed an order for 2 of the Organic Orange Chiffons ($15.50 each), 1 Organic Pandan Chiffon ($16) and the Organic 100% Wholemeal Nutty Choc-chip Cookies ($9). I didn’t expect them to send me two freebies – the Organic Pandana Cake ($15) and Organic Walnut Scones.

*They forgot about the plastic knives I’d requested, but no issue, I used those at home.

There is a current island-wide delivery promo – $8.20 for weekdays and $15 for Saturdays. *Check their website for terms and conditions!

I don’t like scones very much so I can’t tell if these are good or not. But I definitely LOVE chocolate chip cookies so… Bud Of Joy’s really got me disappointed. The cookies were just… flat. Where’s the chocolate? Perhaps 100% dark chocolate is not a good choice, on top of having no sugar added. The bf helped me finish the pack though – he says it is “not the worst” he’s had. Ha!

And… I TOTALLY missed the little instruction on the Organic Pandana Cake and did not refrigerate it. After about 3 days, I found mould growing happily on the cake surface. (@_@) So… no, I have no idea how the cake tastes. :(

But what I’m really happy with in this order is the Organic Orange Chiffon. I like it more than the Pandan Chiffon actually! The chiffons both smell really good. As I took the boxes out of the plastic bags, I could smell the chiffons already – the orange and pandan scents having permeated the bags.

As my dad was home during the delivery, I had him try the orange chiffon with me. His verdict: “Soft and tasty” (said with a big grin). As for me, I’m thinking that what Japanese cheesecakes have done for ‘cheesecake’, Bud Of Joy has done for chiffon cakes. The chiffons are light and airy, smell really good, and make for guilt-free tea-time indulgences.

Bud Of Joy

Bud Of Joy

I’m definitely going to order more of the chiffon cakes from Bud Of Joy. Hopefully before September 2015! :D

You can order here too: http://budofjoy.com/bakery.htm

Sin Swee Kee: Chicken Rice With Amazing Ngoh Hiang

“Are you a fan of chicken rice?” he asked. I said that yes, I do like chicken rice. And bam, we were off to Sin Swee Kee after a trip to the National Library at Bugis. He actually couldn’t remember which chicken rice stall in this area has the best chicken rice, having followed his friends here blindly the last time. *LOL*

But this one turned out to be a pretty good bet:

Sin Swee Kee

You know what makes or breaks a chicken rice dish? For me, it’s neither the rice nor the chicken. It’s…

Sin Swee Kee

… actually the chili sauce. It must pack some heat and be so tasty that I’d be happy to just drizzle it over the rice and eat just rice + chilli sauce. The chili sauce here is pretty good. I’d rate it a 7.5 / 10.

They are very generous with their rice servings here. We ate our fill.

And like all food places worth its salt, the walls were turned into photo walls. Some were ‘decoy’ photos (of children and parties and all) but some featured celebrities:

Sin Swee Kee

I spot Kingone Wang (superb Taiwanese actor), Bryan Wong… and wait a minute… Minister Lim Swee Say?!

We ordered the set for 2, which came with a plate of xiao bai chye with oyster sauce, 2 drinks, and this weird pi-pa tofu:

Sin Swee Kee

It’s like a hybrid of tofu + fish cake. It’s just weird. I wouldn’t order this again.

BUT… their ngoh hiang is amazing. And totally worth the wait. The ‘skin’ is hot, crisp and yes, slightly oily. And the filling consists of I-don’t-know-what. But we both guessed there’s water chestnut in there. Because it’s so crunchy! Crispy on the outside and crunchy on the inside. Best! It comes with a slightly sweet sauce which complements it really well. I need to eat this again!!!

Sin Swee Kee

Proof that we enjoyed our meal at Sin Swee Kee:

Sin Swee Kee

Just GST with no service charge. The total bill came up to S$24.30. Pretty reasonable. The set for 2 costs S$19.80 and ngoh hiang S$4.50. Yup, I’ll be back again. Two servings of ngoh hiang next time!

[ 34/35 Seah Street ]

[ 6337 7180 ]

Ladurée Singapore: Pricey Macarons But Oh So Yummy!

Ladurée Singapore

It’s a Saturday, no doubt. But I still decided to pop by Ladurée at Takashimaya to get some of their famous macarons. Interestingly, despite the snaking queues when it first opened here, there were just 3 people ahead of me at the Ladurée counter on level 1, and when I went to their store on level 2, there were people browsing but no queue!

Unlike Tim Ho Wan’s lasting popularity, Ladurée’s seems more like a flash in the pan. Heh heh. All the better for me – no need to wait in line for long!

After I had made my purchase:

Ladurée Singapore

I paid S$33 for a Napoleon Pink box of 6. Super pricey macarons. They have to be consumed within 3 days but I ate the 6 with the bf in less than, what, 5 minutes?

The permanent flavors are Caramel, Chocolate, Lemon, Raspberry, Pistachio, Rose and Vanilla. And you’ll occasionally get interesting seasonal ones like Marie-Antoinette, Green Apple, Chocolate Bergamot, Lime Basil, Blackcurrant Violet, etc.

Today, I ordered Salted Caramel (delish!), Orange Blossom, Chocolate, Vanilla, Chocolate Venezuela, and Marie-Antoinette Tea (yummy!). The chocolates ones were both good, though I couldn’t tell which is the Venezuela one. LOL!

The macaron shells are incredibly delicate – they crumble when you pinch them just a lil bit. Transporting them to Singapore must be quite a nightmare. The bf does not like sweet stuff as much as I do, but he had to concur that these macarons are really pretty good. I actually do not think they are as sweet as some macarons I’ve tried before. These are just nice. Perfect with some tea, really.

Head to the store on Level 2 and you’ll find scented candles (from S$96), shopping bags (from S$31), jams (from S$23), and these lovely keyrings which cost over S$70 *gulp* …

Ladurée Singapore

Ladurée Singapore

Will I be back for more? Why not, when they have interesting macaron flavors I want to try. But not too often I guess. The TWG macarons cost just S$2 per piece – I’ll go get those next. :D

~ Just For Display ~

Ladurée Singapore

Contact details for the Ladurée counter on Level 1:

Address: 391 Orchard Road #01-24A, Takashimaya Shopping Centre

Tel: 68847361

Review: TruLife’s Herbal System Detox, Collagen Cell Renew & Berry Eyehealth

This post contains not just my review of the products but also some information about what causes stomach bloat. TruLife Herbal System Detox

I was sent the trial kit you see in the picture above, plus a set of the Herbal System Detox (10 bottles). I like how these come in ready-to-drink bottles and contain natural ingredients. Where taste is concerned, I think it generally needs more work.

1) Herbal Detox: You’ll have to drink it in the morning. It actually tastes really nasty, just like herbal medicine. But the good news is you can refrigerate it. Also, if you’re feeling groggy in the morning, this chilled herbal drink will get you instantly alert.

I didn’t notice any weight loss though. Results vary from individual to individual, I guess.

2) Collagen: You drink this at night. It tastes just like jelly in molten form. The taste is more acceptable than the herbal one, for sure.

3) Berry: Drink this whenever you’d like. It tastes the mildest and I can’t say I like this more than the one from BRAND’S but it’s a good effort nonetheless.

~

Because I’ve been experiencing some stomach bloat, I sent my questions to Mr Foo Vin Wee, TCM Specialist and Head of R&D for TruLife, who shared the following:

Bloatedness is caused by the lack of ‘qi’ in the body. The lack of ‘qi’ can be caused by many different reasons. It can be caused when food does not process smoothly and accumulates in the stomach and intestines. Another common cause is that we do not practise healthy eating habits or [when experiencing] stress. There are many ways of improving ‘qi’ in TCM such as taking herbal medicine to nourish the balance in our bodies. TruLife offers Herbal System Detox, a convenient alternative in the form of ready-to-drink bottles.

Herbal System Detox contains active ingredients such as Green Tea, Lotus Leaves and Hawthorn fruit that helps weight loss. Lotus Leaf extract has been proven to prevent the increase of body weight through the preventive action of formation of fatty tissue. It slows down the absorption of fat and carbohydrates, increases energy expenditure and accelerates metabolism. Hawthorn fruit helps to digest accumulated fatty food and meat.

(Mr Foo has over 25 years of experience in the development of traditional Chinese medicines, health and skincare products)

I definitely have a bad habit of eating too fast. I really do need to learn to slow down so I can chew it all properly and have it digested faster. Maybe, a smaller spoon will do the trick. And I can then say goodbye to bloating. Ha! :D

Carousel’s Award-winning Buffet – At Royal Plaza on Scotts

I had lunch today with my pals at Carousel Buffet at Royal Plaza on Scotts. For the price I paid, I felt it was a really good lunch, though 2 hours seemed like too little time for makan and catching up with my friends. :D

Here’s the buffet price list (accurate as at 15 Sept 2014)..

Carousel Buffet - Pricing [Source: Carousel's website]


Menu Description:

Carousel Buffet - Menu Description

I really liked their sashimi, which was really fresh. The prawns and shellfish were good as well. What blew me away was the Black Chicken Ginseng Soup – I’ve never visited a buffet that served Chinese soup. It was nothing short of amazing! After you’ve been eating the sashimi and drinking cold water, that little bowl of hot soup just hits the right spot and make you want to go “Aahhhhh”. :D

Carousel Buffet - Sashimi

And of course, dessert was flawless. One chocolate fountain might need company. So why not have three of them? :D (The middle one tastes the best)

Carousel Buffet - Dessert

They also had what looked like a giant lava cake (which they called chocolate pudding, or something along those lines) with an amazingly chocolately centre, which I paired with their Chocolate Obsession ice cream. It was a nice mix of warm cake and cold ice cream, and lots of chocolate. I died and went to dessert heaven.

I didn’t eat any of the salads or cheese, nor too much seafood. But I really love the selection of Asian cuisine at Carousel. I just DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH TIME!

I’ll definitely be back. For dinner in future. So I can eat for three hours instead of rushing to complete my meal in two. :D

If you’re heading there, do make a reservation first! The easiest way to do this (the hotline’s really busy) is to head online – to the Carousel Buffet website: http://www.carouselbuffet.com.sg/.

Hai Di Lao Hot Pot Clarke Quay 海底捞火锅: It’s All About The Service

Hai Di Lao

Some time back, I went with my pal, Steven, and one of my trainers, to Hai Di Lao at Clarke Quay. It’s apparently fully booked most of the time, unless you go for an early dinner, for instance.

I was curious to find out how this place draws the crowds. The answer is simple: the impeccable service.

A waitress constantly hovered near our table to attend to our needs. The staff are also generous with their compliments, and they were happy to call us “美女” and “帅哥”. It always makes me feel uncomfortable when a PRC man or woman calls me 美女. Case in point – the other day at the MRT station:

Me: (engrossed in the fb newsfeed on my phone)

PRC lady: “美女”

Me: (Giving her a look that asks “What do you want? My money or my phone? Or both?!)

Turns out she just wanted directions.

~

Dinner that evening at Hai Di Lao was passable. Two soup bases (tomato and chicken), lotsa meat, a fruit platter, some vegetables and the bill came up to S$122 for 3 pax. There’s also a fruit buffet corner where you can eat all the fruit you want.

Too bad I didn’t get to experience the free manicure. But we were given plastic ziplock bags for our handphones, warm towels, cloth to prevent splashes onto my bag, wiping cloths for handphone screens (which the guys took home).

I’m not exactly impressed with the quality of the food. It just ranks as ‘normal’ to me. But if you order some noodles, a guy will come by your table and stretch and swing the dough around your head like a super long whip, crafting noodle strands out of it while you wonder if the dough touched your hair, or the floor, or the back of that chair. Clapping is optional.

If you’d like to impress a visitor with the awesome service standards in Singapore, then head to Hai Di Lao. If not, just eat anywhere else. ;)

Address: 2nd Floor, 3D Building, River Valley Road, Clarke Quay,Singapore
Tel: +65 63378626 / 63378627

Opening Hours: 10.30am to 3am (yes, 3am! Supper for you?)