Sunday, January 28, 2007

Forest v Chelsea

Good Luck Forest!

Nottingham Forest play Chelsea in the 4th round of the FA Cup tonight.

Update: they lost 3-0 :(

Bollywood Veggies

Situated on 12 acres of farmland in Kranji, northwest Singapore, is Bollywood Veggies, an organic farm and bistro. Sandy about to tuck into fried sweet potato leaves with sambal, healthy (coconut milk-free) chicken curry, and fried carrot cake.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Australia Day

Steve and Katrina threw a bbq to celebrate Australia Day.

Steve and Terry:

Steve setting fire to Jalan Hang Jebat:

Pavlova Man Simon:

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Blue eyes

Trying out my Christmas present from Holly and Nel: an eye mask from The Body Shop. For extra soothing, I placed the mask in the fridge for two weeks. It definitely soothed and cooled my eyes but it's pretty difficult to see.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

4th wedding anniversary

God, has it been four years already?

Fourth anniversary is "linen" but I didn't think I would get away with giving Sandy a tea towel so found her a chunky Swarovski ring instead.

We've been meaning to try Da Paolo Il Giardino at Cluny Court for some time so decided to have dinner there to celebrate. A path lined by bamboo plants lead to a private garden with half a dozen tables. Sandy started with a mixed seafood soup and helped me finish a huge plate of beef carpaccio with shaved parmesan and salad. For mains, Sandy had a delicious handmade spinach pasta with scallops and prawns in a cream sauce while I took roast venison with porcini mushrooms in a brandy and red wine sauce with ratatouille and potatoes. Coffee and Italian chocolate cake for dessert. The selection of wines by the glass was pretty limited, but I had a fairly decent chardonnay from Victoria, Australia, and a sangiovese then a sangiovese/merlot blend from Italy. The biggest surprise was the price! We'd forgotten how reasonable Da Paolo's is. Simple yet delicious food and very unpredictable service.

As I'm writing this, wonderful aromas are wafting in from the kitchen. Sandy is cooking roast lamb with rosemary, roast potatoes and a spicy courgette dish with oregano, coriander and tomatoes. She's the best! Time to open a bottle of vino ...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Black chicken

A common sight in every wet market in Singapore and Malaysia (and presumably HK, China, Taiwan, etc) are black-skinned chickens.

Since Sandy recently bought one to boil with Chinese herbs for a delicious herbal soup, I thought I would find some more info about them. The skin is black and the bones are black; they look so odd hanging next to their pink sisters in the market. Evidently they are Silkie chickens, a widespread breed of hen found throughout the world.

Popular in the West as a show hen 'cos they're so cute and fluffy ...

(All these photos are taken from The Silkie Club of Great Britain.)

and popular with Chinese on the plate 'cos they taste so good! Our dinner:

Sandy's herbal chicken soup contained seven Chinese herbs. Below are the Chinese and English names and some of their many medicinal properties (extracted from some rather dubious Chinese websites):

1. bei qi (astragalus root): regulates blood sugar, improves endurance
2. dang shen (codonopsis root): improves immune system, Increases red blood cells
3. huai shan (Chinese wild yam, dioscorea): promotes urination, improves digestive system
4. gou qi (Chinese wolfberry): elevates testosterone levels, increase the weight of the uteri of immature mice
5. yu zhu (solomon's seal): raises the blood pressure or rabbits but lowers that of dogs (!)
6. nan xing (sweet almond): don't want to know
7. bei xing (Manchurian apricot): no info, thank God

Maybe I shouldn't have researched those herbs straight after dinner, I feel a little queasy now ...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Fusion food ... gone wrong

Roti prata stuffed with cheap (meatless) chicken frankfurter and processed cheese and served with Indian fish curry (with a dash of monosodium glutamate for good measure).

Nasty, nasty. Why did I even order it?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year!

All the best for 2007 from Sandy and Phil in Singapore!

Sandy's sister Hueh Hueh came down from KL for a visit and we took her out to Beijing Steamboat in Geylang for dinner on the Saturday night. The food was delicious as always, but so spicy! Into the two soups -- one clear, the other a cauldron of bubbling chilli oil -- we dipped slices of raw lamb and beef, chive dumplings, tofu, beancurd skin, meatballs, fishballs, bak choy, kangkong, tang oh, yam root noodles and sea cucumber.

Phil dipping beancurd skin into the chilli oil while Hueh Hueh cools her burning tongue in Tiger beer...

New Year's Eve at Cable Car bar...

Sandy, Hueh Hueh and Hooi Hooi enjoying a seven-course New Year's Day menu at Chikuyotei Japanese restaurant, Mandarin Hotel.

We saw this fellow while on a New Year's walk in the Botanic Gardens.