Tuesday, November 26, 2013

ToTT (Tools of The Trade's) @ Dunearn Road, Bukit Timah

Had always passed by ToTT everytime I'm in bus #67 on my way to somewhere else. Hence, was pretty excited to be invited there for their launch of a new cookbook, "Best Brunch Ever" and also their brand new e-commerce site ToTTstore.com.

If taking cab, then tell the taxi uncle that it's Sime Darby building at Dunearn Road. Had a bit of time before the event starts, so went nosying around inside ToTT. They have cookware, cook's tools, bakeware, appliances, tableware, bar, food, homekeeping, cooking studios etc. There's even a Jason's Supermarket to do groceries shopping.

purple themed
looking for cook, bake or hosting stuffs?
items for catering, party hosting, everything

While it's possible to wander around for hours looking at the various items, the event was scheduled to start at 1130am, so off to the cooking studio!

invited chefs to demo recipes from "Best Brunch Ever" cookbook
for media friends

The cookbook showcases brunch ideas from 8 chefs, covering cuisines like American, Australian, Japanese, Vietnamese, Singaporean, Spanish, Italian and French. For that morning, we were treated to recipes by Chef Antonio Facchinette (Prego Restaurant, Fairmont Singapore), Chef Nicolas Joanny (Nicolas Le Restaurant), Chef Dan Segall (The Big Idea) and Chef Chi Quang Trinh (Addictions Café and Remedy Bar).

The demo session started with Chef Antonio, who did Spaghetti Piccanti, an aglio olio kind of dish with a twist.

ready when you are

two screens to show the happenings
adding breadcrumbs

The smell of food was so appetizing and the hungries got even hungrier. Can't wait to try our first brunch dish.

Chef Antonio's Spaghetti Piccanti
spaghetti with calamari, anchovies, some chilies, garlic, breadcrumbs and fennel

It's a dry aglio olio and you won't find oil pooling at the bottom of the plate. Am confident that this can be easily replicated at home.

Chef Nicolas Joanny was up next. He showed us how to make eggs 'a la coque'. This recipe required the top of the egg shell to be sliced off. Then separate the egg whites out and put the yolk back into the 'topless' shell. Ok, sounds like it requires a certain amount of skill.

Chef Nicolas and his assistant
eggs with top shell  and most whites removed, ready to be steamed for 2 minutes
frying the 'popiah' (brick pastry)
prawn encased in feuille de brick and deep fried till golden brown

Steamed egg with abit of cream and drizzled with sherry vinegar plus one prawn in pastry skin deep fried? Nice! First time having eggs with sherry vinegar, and it was rather nice too. Yummy.

Chef Nicolas - eggs 'a la coque'
runny yolk, perfect~

Chef Dan Segall, is how shall I put it? Loud? He's humorous, expressive and basically has a louder voice!

Chef Dan, extolling the virtues of Hotmix Pro

He's making us cornbread wedges with bacon jam. The Hotmix Pro made the process of making bacon jam, seemed rather easy.

ingredients going into the Hotmix Pro
just a tiny pinch to keep it subtle
personally plating the cornbread wedges with bacon jam for the guests

The cornbread colour was bright and chirpy (just the right tone for brunch!) and the bacon jam, we'd definitely like some more of that sweet savoury bacon jam please!

loved the bacon jam to bits!

Chef Chi Quang Trinh, shared with us the food that he misses the most when he's back in Australia, bánh cuốn or steamed rice rolls. Chef Chi was a rather soft-spoken person.

sauteeing the fillings for the rice rolls
very very important to use a non-stick frying pan
eat the steamed rice rolls with dipping sauce and lots of herbs

Was gravely mistaken about the steamed rice rolls. Thought it would be rather bland but it was actually healthy tasting and quite yummy at that! The fillings of minced pork, onions, black fungus were well seasoned and the dipping sauce made of fish sauce, water, sugar, chilies, garlic and lime all worked wonderfully. The super crunchy shallots was a good contrast to the soft chewy skin of the rice rolls.

Chef Chi - steamed rice rolls (bánh cuốn)
like eating chee cheong fun with savoury fillings but minus all the thick black sauce

It was a memorable brunch event! Thank you ToTT and our friendly and charming chefs.

Chef Nicolas, Chef Dan, Chef Chi and Cheft Antonio - thank you!

ToTT is having their Christmas sale now till 25 Dec 2013, so this might be a good time to check out the items that you were planning to get! As my friend puts it this way, "Am sure I always have things to buy from TOTT!"

Thank you Nicholas and team from Foodnews for the invite, and ToTT for hosting us. Best wishes!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Foodpanda - Food Delivery in Singapore [Contest Available: Read on and Win Foodpanda Discounts!]

Feeling lazy on a weekend? Doesn't feel like going out? Sick of instant noodles?

How about calling for delivery? Can't remember which number belongs to which shop? Well, luckily the good folks at foodpanda.sg had done the job of consolidating participating restaurants that offers delivery so that we can just refer to Foodpanda site to do the ordering.

Sounds easy? It is. Because I've tried it.

Before that, you might want to create an account first and setup delivery address and such.

start here

Step 1: Location to deliver to

Key in your delivery postcode, ie. postcode for home or office etc. Then click on 'Find food now!' button. The site will only show all the restaurants that offer delivery to the abovementioned location.

filter to narrow down the choices
Step 2: Choose a restaurant

The rating tool was useful since there are alot of restaurants that I've not tried before. Picked one that has high rating and also high number of ratings received. Also chose one that offers free delivery. Do look out for deals from the various restaurants before deciding.

decided to order Indian Cuisine

Another useful information, is the estimated time it takes to deliver. If it takes 120 minutes and you're very hungry, then it might be better to just pick one that delivers within 60 minutes.

Step 3 and 4: Payment and delivery

Payment can be done via cash on delivery or via paypal. If one chooses cash on delivery, then the customer need to specify how much change is required.

Once the order is confirmed by the restaurant, there will be an acknowledgement via sms. This takes about 10 minutes. In the sms, the estimated delivery arrival time is made known. For mine, it was stated as 80 minutes but the delivery arrived within 60 minutes.

order submitted at  6.50pm, food delivered by 8pm
neatly packed, there's a free can of coke light too~

Ordered Butter Chicken and Omar Shariff Briyani from Omar Shariff Restaurant, located at Sixth Avenue, Bukit Timah.

Omar Shariff Briyani (@$17.80+)
briyani rice packed with boneless mutton, boneless chicken and cubed cheese, served with raita

The pappadum was somewhat smashed up but still crispy. The briyani could be shared amongst 2 pax of small eaters. The mutton cubes were tender and plenty of it to go around. The chicken pieces were rather tasteless though. Rice was fragrant but not overpowering. There's an hard boiled fried egg too. The raita gave this a sourish tang.

butter chicken (@$17.70+)

The butter chicken came in a small container. Felt rather pricey for such a portion. Taste wise, it was nicely sweet and just mildly spiced. Lots of gravy for the rice.

delivery dinner for 2 pax

Foodpanda has an app that one could download from Google Play or App store. Convenient to order for delivery while one is on the way home from the office!

foodpanda app for mobile

To all supporters of Purple Taste, good news! Foodpanda has kindly sponsored 4 discount codes worth $5* each to be given away. Interested readers, do email me asap! Contest closes on Friday 29 Nov 2013, or while stocks last.

Once again, thank you Marguerite and Foodpanda for the opportunity to try this service.

*Condition: min. order of $10, valid till 20 Nov 2014 and for one time use only

Ramen Champion @ Great World City

Ramen Champion Great World City (GWC) opened in early November 2013. This is its 3rd outlet after Bugis+ and T3 Changi airport. Was recently invited to try the ramen from the four contenders of Ramen Champion GWC.


They are Bishamon Zero, Tonkotsu Itto, Miyamoto and Butaou.

who's going to be Ramen Champion?
nice colourful backdrop
huge lantern inside the restaurant

My first time trying all four brands so was anticipating for the first sip of soup, texture of the noodles, flavours of its ramen egg as well as how its chashiu is going to be like.

First up, Bishamon Zero. Not new to the ramen scene in Singapore. Originated from Sapporo, Hokkaido but interestingly, it has a China-born chef, the boyish Chef Wang Hu Rong. He has undergone intensive training with Mr Koji Tashiro of the Menya Koji Group.

stall front

Bishamon Zero sent out its Sapporo Miso Special Ramen. Soup was flavourful due to its meat (chicken and pork) based broth and miso taste was evident. Not too salty and warms the belly. If the corn had been sweeter, it would've been perfect!

Noodles were springy and cha shu was tender with good ratio of fats and lean. Liked the thickness. The eggs were good, with both the whites and yolk well-flavoured. Yummy. The spicy beanpaste (豆瓣醤) added some kick to the ramen.

Bishamon Zero's beautiful bowl of Sapporo Miso Special Ramen (@$14.80++)
springy curly noodles

For the hungries, one can try the side-dishes too if that bowl of ramen wasn't able to fill you up. Chicken karaage was pretty good. Looked abit flat but its meat was tender enough. Batter tasted very familiar ;)

tori karaage (@$4.80++)
mentaiko gyoza (5 small pieces @$5.80++)
Okonomiyaki Gyoza with bonito flakes (5 small pieces @$5.80++)
snow pear juice is available

Chef Wang made a special appearance, so here's a snapshot of him.

Chef Wang Hu Rong

Next up, sampled the Special Tonkotsu Ramen from Tonkotsu Itto. This brand originated from Tokyo and helmed by Chef Yukihiko Sakamoto. This is his first outlet  outside of Japan, and serves Hakata-style ramen.

Singaporeans are very familiar with tonkotsu (豚骨) broth, boiled for several hours from pork bones resulting in a rich tasting broth.

Tonkotsu Itto's - Special Tonkotsu Ramen (@$16.50++)
cha shu overflowed as it was served in a rather shallow bowl with thin straight noodles

Liked the robust tasty soup full of pork-bones goodness but there was too little of it! Noodles were rather thin and abit soft. Cha shu was good, firm to the bite and not too lean. The wood fungus added some crunch when eaten together with the noodles. The ajitsuke tamago has good flavours in its yolk but the egg whites portion were rather bland.

After this elegant, dainty looking bowl of ramen from Tonkotsu Itto, next was a rather masculine looking one! The Pork and Vegetable Ramen from Miyamoto. Helmed by Chef Ryutaro Miyamoto, this brand was voted as 2012 Narita City Most Popular Ramen, and runner-up in 2013.

Miyamoto - Pork and Vegetable Ramen (@$16++)

Loaded with lots of bean sprouts and cabbage, and had a small mound of chopped garlic. Noodles were of the thick variant kind (similar to mee hoon kueh texture but in noodles form). It's a huge bowl. Generous servings of thick cha shu slices too. Cabbage taste is prominent in the soup. Best amount of vegetables amongst all the contenders. Frankly, this bowl of ramen is not much of a looker but it tasted good. If you fancy thicker noodles and wants more vegetables in your diet yet able to have enough meat, then Miyamoto Pork and Vegetable ramen can fulfill these.

best flavoured yolk!

Finally, it's Butao's turn. Originated from Saitama Prefecture in Tokyo, and was awarded Outstanding Ramen Rookie Award at Hong Kong's The Ultimate Ramen Champion competition. Doesn't that makes you eager to know how well it'll fare in Singapore?

Butao - Special Sukiyaki Ramen (@$16++)

Chef Toshikazu Yoneda had indeed created something special. Poached egg? Sukiyaki soup base for ramen? Ok, a first for me. Soup was sweet as expected of a sukiyaki broth cooked with pork bones and vegetables. Light tasting with sweetness. Break the poached egg, stir well into the soup. Quite yummy. Didn't like the pork slices though as they were a bit tough.

soup slurped up in no time!

Also tried a personal favourite of Malcolm. Butao's fried chicken wings. One pax can easily polish off a plate of these. Beer food, or children's favourite?

sprinkle with lots of chili powder, add a squeeze of lemon

Don't forget to vote for your favourite ramen contender to become the Ramen Champion!

whom has captivated your tummy?

Special thanks to Malcolm, Komars Group for the invite. Ramen Champion, ごちそうさまでした!

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