Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Check out these cool stuff from Texas Chicken! Share this with your friends on FaceBook if you like this!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Pastasciutta and pizza are iconic Italian foods . You probably know Spaghetti alla Bolognese, the most known method of preparing pasta in the world. That is just one of the endless possibilities you have to pastas.

Pasta is quick to prepare, comes in many different sizes and shapes, and can be accompanied by an almost limitless number of sauces. You can eat pasta every day and yet never have the same dish appearing before you. Hoever, pasta is very high on carbs , so it is actually not recommended to have pasta for lunch and dinner every day.

 This guide is easy and the instructions are simple to follow. Let's start with a summary of the steps for a perfect pasta :

First, cooking pasta means actually cooking the pasta and the sauce. While cooking the pasta itself is basically made by the one step of throwing the pasta in boiling water, the sauce can be a more complicate affair. I will give you recipes for two easy sauces, which is very popular in Italy. Since the basic steps are more or less the same, you can go on and create your own sauce from there.

Secondly, each type of pasta has a cooking time which is usually indicated on the package. Cook pasta for less than the cooking time, and it will remain hard. Exceed the cooking time and it will become softer and softer. Go well beyond the cooking time and congratulations! You have inedible glue! Italians like our pasta al dente , that means a little hard. You usually get it al dente by cooking it for exactly the indicated cooking time. But since foreigners often prefer their pasta soft, you may find on the package a cooking time that reflects this and advises you to cook the pasta for much more time than an Italian would. Since pasta is cheap, you can throw away a little and experiment until you find your perfect cooking time .

Third point, no ketchup . No ketchup. Repeat with me: No ketchup. Ever. Ok, lets start.

Take a pot , fill it with water for 3/4 of its capacity and put it on the stove, heating it until it boils. Put a lid on, to make it boil faster. When the water boils, add sale grosso or cooking salt. Its salt in big grains of irregular shapes. You can use the finer table salt as it wont change the flavour, but you will need a lot more and its harder to measure the right quantity. You may find that for you, it might be easier to get the right quantity of salt by using table salt. The right quantity of salt is a personal taste affair, experiment until you find yours. Why do we wait until the water boils to add salt? Because salted water takes longer to reach the boiling point .

Adding salt right away will not affect the final flavour, but it will lengthen the time to reach the boiling point. After adding salt, wait half a minute, then put the pasta in . Put the p asta in the water when it boils, not before, or you will ruin it! Wait for the cooking time indicated on the package, stir the pasta often to avoid it gluing to the surface of the pot. Now, cooking pasta is simple and there are no secrets in it. But there is one trick . Pasta is like a sponge: it absorbs the fluid in which its immersed. Cooking it immersed in water is ok, but cooking it immersed in the sauce is better! It will be flavoured by the sauce from the inside . So here's the trick- one minute before the cooking time is over pour one or two table spoons of cooking water from the pot in the pan where you are heating the sauce, then strain the pasta out of the water and pour it in the pan , mixing it with the sauce and ending the cooking time in there. Let it heat for a minute, a minute and a half, then take the pan from heat and serve your pasta. Thats it, true Italian-style pasta .

Now, recipes of the sauces . The first one is a classic, tomato sauce.

Put a table spoon of oil in a frying pan, add tomato sauce, a hint of pepper or finely minced chilli pepper, let it heat for 5-6 minutes stirring from time to time, pour the pasta in the pan, keep cooking for a minute more. When its ready, take out from heat, add a few leaves of basil and serve. Of course you will be heating the sauce while the pasta is cooking in the boiling water.

The second one is zucchini and shrimps . Put a table spoon of oil in a frying pan, add the zucchini, the shrimps (without shells) and spray lightly with pepper. Let cook on low fire for 10 minutes stirring from time to time, then add the pasta and keep heating for a minute more, stirring the mix. When its ready, take out from heat and serve.

There you are. Original Italian pasta .

To save time I usually prepare the sauce and start heating it while I wait for the water to boil and for the cooking time to be over. You can also prepare a variety of sauces in advance and freeze them , taking them out of the freezer when you need them, letting them unfreeze naturally or microwaving them, then heating in the pan while the pasta is cooking up. You can also use industrial made sauces, theres nothing wrong in that. Remember: the only trick is to heat the sauce in a pan, cook the pasta one minute less than suggested, then pour it along with a couple spoons of cooking water in the pan and finish cooking the sauce and the pasta together in the pan .

Buon appetito!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

In Singapore, we are very blessed to be in a multi-cultural society. What does this mean for us? We get the chance of trying out the many different kinds of cuisine. The problem? More often than not, we are spoilt for choice and don't know what to eat. Well, even if we do, we have to decide where. So today, I am very fortunate to share with you this restaurant that serves us good Indian food. They are none other than Khansama.

We arrived at the door and was intrigued at the beautiful ornament and decor of the restaurant. I have been to several Indian restaurants but it usually has a modern touch to it. Indeed, restaurants with traditional decor like this is really less seen in Singapore.

Being handed the menu, we looked through it and was appalled at the wide variety of dishes on the menu. From Veg to Non-Veg dishes, from traditional drinks to alcohol. It was really difficult to decide. So what did we do? Lol, order the drink first. That's the easiest!
Mango Lassi - $5.00
From my understanding, this drink or rather Lassi is a popular traditional yoghurt based drink that is well known to many in our community. This Mango Lassi is a sweet creamy drink made by blending Indian homemade yoghurt and mango pulp. With the humid weather lately, we were very happy to be served this drink which is cold, refreshing and has a distinct Mango taste. I was actually planning to have a second cup. I would say if you visit this place, DO TRY this drink of theirs.

While looking through the menu, I couldn't help but notice the cutlery on the table.
Since we could not decide on what to have, we decided to leave it to them to do the recommendation. Their recommendation was the Non-Vegetarian combo platter, Butter Chicken, Butter Naan, Cheese Naan, Garlic Naan and the Paneer Butter Masala. First up...

Non-Vegetarian Combo Platter - $35.00
This combo platter is a combination of Chicken Tikka, Haryali Tikka, Malai Tikka, Reshmi Tikka, Fish Tikka, Tandoori Prawns, Mutton Kebabs and Chicken Kebabs served hot with mint sauce and green salad. I must commend them on the presentation of this dish. Looking at the platter made me extremely hungry. So we tucked in and it was WOW!

The tandoori prawns were well done and not too dry. I thought that it was interesting how they actually have the aluminium foil in place so you can just hold up the prawn and eat it without having to dirty your fingers. It is good for eating on its own or with the mint sauce that accompanies this combo platter.

Amongst the many different tikkas in the combo platter. A personal favourite of mine is the Fish Tikka. I am not a 'fish' person and the only fish I eat is Dory and Sardines. Lol. I was actually skeptical about trying this because fish pieces this big are usually dry. To my amazement, look at the meat of the fish, the exterior is nicely char-grilled with a moist interior. I couldn't resist it and finished the Fish Tikka that was served on the platter. Just a lil note, tikka actually means bits, pieces or chunks of meat. Next up... Here comes the Naans.
Basket of Butter Naan, Cheese Naan and Garlic Naan
Let me do a brief introduction of Naan. Naan is actually crispy Indian bread that can be eaten on its own or stuffed with other ingredients, in this case butter, cheese or garlic, and roasted in a clay oven with heat of burning charcoal. I will say that the Naans here is a MUST TRY!

Garlic Naan - $3.50
Butter Naan - $3.00
Cheese Naan - $5.50
Accompanying these, the next dish served was Butter Chicken. The dish is made up of boneless barbecued pieces of tender chicken, cooked in thick rich creamy gravy with butter. This is a Non-Vegetarian dish and goes really really well with the Naans. You have to try it!

Butter Chicken - $12.50
For our friends who prefer Vegetarian dishes, there is a particular dish that I think is very interesting. It tastes really good you should order this when you visit Khansama.

Paneer Butter Masala - $10.50
This is the Vegetarian dish that I mentioned earlier. This dish is made up of cottage cheese cubes cooked in rich, creamy mild onion gravy and butter. This is seriously nice and since I have not tried Vegetarian dishes from an Indian restaurant before, I must say that this is good. Initially while we were eating, we thought the the cubes were beancurd cubes or 'Tahu". The texture, however, was much firmer than that so we checked out the menu and ohh... so, its cottage cheese cubes. Goes very well with Naan and just the Naans and these two dishes are good for a meal of 3 persons.

We were extremely full and satisfied with our lunch. We were so pleased that we were planning to make another visit there. After having a conversation with the owner, we realised that they actually have lunch buffets. No more consideration needed, we will be back again.

Check out their buffet at


Khansama Tandoori Village87 Science Park Drive
#02-01 The Science Hub
Singapore Science Park 1
Singapore 118 260

Tel : 6299 0300 (No reservations needed!)

Its Easy To Get There:

1. Nearest MRT - Kent Ridge (Circle Line/Orange Line). Transfer can be done at Buona Vista.

2. Exit MRT station and take bus 92 at bus stop B15139. Alight 5 stops later at Blk 85 Science Park Drive. Basically, the end of road where you will see a bend/U-turn.

Join us on 20 May at Covelli for an evening of fine wines and a 6 course gourmet spread at only $88++ per pax. VIP guest Alberto Orengia will also be at the event to share more about Italian wines. Reservation is required for this event, hence call 6238 6400 or 8181 8023 today before the event is sold out!

For more information, check out

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Singapore, 25 April 2012

We love our Mothers very much, for their unconditional love and sacrifices they have made for us throughout. At JuChunYuan, we know this is the day that you will shower your mother with love and attention.

The culinary team helmed by Master Chef Li Yan, the 6th generation original JuChunYuan Chef, have come up with a special Mother's Day menu available on 12 to 13 May, for 6 to 8 persons at $388+ featuring the traditional dish, Fuzhou Red Wine Chicken 红 糟 滑 鸡 柳, a favourite JuChunYuan "Pa Shao" Stewed Pork Belly 扒 烧 肉 to Drunken Live Prawns with Hua Tiao Wine & Ginseng 花 旗 参 醉 生. 

For larger families, consider the Mother's Day Set Menu for 8 to 10 persons at $588+ with Stir-Fried Pacific Lobster with Broccoli in Fresh Tomato Sauce 茄 汁 龙 虾, Steamed Live Soon Hock Fuzhou Style 清 蒸 笋 壳, and complete the meal with the all time dessert delight - Fuzhou Yam Pudding 香 麻 芋 泥! The highlight for the two set menus is that you can choose to have the Original 1876 Buddha Jumps Over the Wall 正 宗 精 装 佛 跳 墙 at $58+ per portion (Usual $88+). Savour the Original taste of what is known as the Culinary National Treasure of China here in JuChunYuan Singapore. 

There is no Service Charge at JuChunYuan, so enjoy the culinary experience, and we hope you like our service this Mother's Day celebration!


130 Amoy Street
Far East Square, #01-01
Singapore 049959
Tel: 6536 2655

Opening Hours

Lunch: 11.30am - 2.30pm
Dinner: 6.00pm - 10.30pm

About JuChunYuan

Wholly adapted from the original JuChunYuan restaurant in China, JuChunYuan Singapore serves Regional Cuisine from provinces in China with emphasis on Fuzhou dishes. Fuzhou dishes are noted for their well-chosen ingredients, beautiful colour, fresh seasoning and strict operation during cooking. Master Chef Li Yan, the 6th generation original JuChunYuan Chef, currently helms the kitchen and is well known for his signature dishes "Pa Shao" Stewed Pork Belly, Braised Monkey Head Mushroom and wokfried Pork Collar with Fresh Mushroom. JuChunYuan also serves the world-renowned "Buddha Jumps Over The Wall", with its authentic recipe created by Chef Chen Zhun Fa of the original JuChunYuan in 1876.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Hello everyone... before I start my post, I would like to announce that our What To Eat website will be launched on 08 May 2012. We would like to thank everyone for all the support and future support that we may receive. :)

It was a Saturday afternoon, and walking around in Lot 1, we were deciding what to have for lunch. Well, although Lot 1 is not a very large shopping mall, there are quite a few restaurants there. There's Ajisen Ramen, Pizza Hut, Sakae Sushi, Dian Xiao Er, MOF, etc. Since we had craving for something spicy, we decided to check into Siam Kitchen.

While we were looking through the menu, we were served glasses of iced water and crackers.

The crackers are free and the best way I feel to eat it is to dip it in the chilli sauce that they provide. It's AWESOME! Seriously good stuff so try it the next time you get there. Oh ya, its addictive too! :)

So we decided on what we are going to have and I must say that the service was a tad too slow for my liking. I have to say that though it was a Saturday, it was relatively quiet as we had our lunch slightly before noon. So basically, there isn't much excuses for being slow.

Tom Yum Seafood Soup - $7.60
First up was the Tom Yum Seafood Soup or Tom Yum Talay. Well, I felt that the soup was not bad but it wasn't like WOW.. not something that I would say was really good. Surely, this is much better than some I have tasted before but I felt it was just an OK. So, if you are planning to check this soup out, go ahead. On another note, I just remembered how there are some Tom Yum soup that is clear. It is like the calm before the storm. LOL. Personally, I prefer the red ones and I believe there are some restaurants that serve both variations of this soup and you have to tell them if you want the red one.

Pineapple Fried Rice - $9.90
Before I actually comment about this dish, I must say that I am not, and never was, a big fan of Pineapple Rice. Yes. It's true. This dish is also called Khao Phad Sapparot Talay in Thai, and is one of the well-known dishes in Thai cuisine that we are all familiar with. Basically, the typical ingredients used in this dish is pineapples, seafood, cashew nuts and dried shrimps, etc. although there may be other variations such as using chicken instead of seafood, etc. So, the moment the dish was placed on our table, what actually captivated me was the fragrance of this dish. The taste was good and there is quite a generous portion of pineapples in there. The texture was good as the portion of cashew nuts in there is proportionate, and I would say this is a MUST TRY!

Siam Kitchen Special Mid-Joint Chicken Wings - $7.80
Ok, so we ordered this dish because both of us are fried chicken wing lovers. Since there was a thumbs up beside this dish, we decided to order it. I was really disappointed. I am not a gastronome and I don't pretend to be one. The simple reason for my disappointment was that I felt it looked really pathetic. Come on, these are like half a mid-joint wing... so its several quarter mid-joint wings. Adding it all up, I supposed there were five mid-joint wings in there. Also, this is supposed to be a starter or snack, yet it is served after the pineapple rice. Not good. Personally, I felt that the meat was too dry, almost feeling hard and the taste was nothing fantastic, also the presentation wasn't good. I will not be ordering this again but if you want to give it a try, do so at your own RISK.

Stir Fried Kailan with Salted Fish - $8.90
Next up was the vegetable. In Thai, this dish is called Phad Kana Pla Kem. It also had the lil thumbs up beside the dish on the menu and so we decided to give it a try. Although it is quite a common vegetable dish in Singapore, I must say that this dish is nice. Yup, you heard me right, it's nice. The Kailan's not too old, hence, not too hard. The taste was just right, not too salty and the level of spiciness was just right too. A very balanced dish I would say. If you want something familiar amongst the many unfamiliar dishes on the table, this would be good!

Curry Soft Shell Crab - $11.90
The final dish arrived at our table. This dish is also known as Poo Nim Phad Nam Prik. Something I had been waiting for. I LOVE soft shell crab especially when it's in the curried style like this. It is also one of the reasons why I still patronize Thai Express... because of their soft shell crab curry thingy. So yes, I quickly dug in to taste how good this is. Ok, I will not be comparing it with what Thai Express serves, as I only want to share with you how it taste and not which of it is better. So back to this dish, the taste is good, mild in spiciness and portion is quite large. Good for sharing! For me, it is a MUST TRY for soft shell crab lovers.

Before I end my post, a summary of my dining experience:

Food Taste: 7.5 / 10
Food Presentation: 8 / 10
Service: 6 / 10
Pricing: 7 / 10

Siam Kitchen
21 Choa Chu Kang Avenue #02-25, Lot 1 Shoppers' Mall     Tel: 6766 4766
Opens: 11.30am to 10pm daily