Weekend Treat…Black and Gold

Weekend Treat_Papaya

Love papaya, but I am not too crazy about cutting them. When they are fully ripen, it can getting pretty messy. But one weekend, I decided to give it a go, keeping the plan to Eat healthier, better and happier.  Although it was quite messy, but the colours of a fully ripened papaya and jet black seeds are simply irresistible. Just had to whip out the camera.

Weekend Treat…My First Wine Auction

I have always known that this is one of the best opportunities to hunt down some really good deals. But I have always been intimidated by it because part of me know that it can be expensive. Since being elected to the post of Cellarmaster for IWFS of Singapore, I knew I have to take this step into a wine auction to find good wine at good price for the society. So a couple of Sundays ago, I attended one with a few excellent wine collecting friends. I was still feeling skittish. My good friend G was there and he put together a short list for me and himself to watch. I did some research on the pricing of the wines that we have narrowed down, but can’t compare to G and KS’s (another good friend) impressive memory of market trading price and vintage quality of wines. G did all the bidding while I tracked and did quick calculation of final total cost (to include commission and tax) of wines to ensure we are within our planned budget. My goal on next auction….research more and be brave.
Wine Auction 3-001
This auction was a long one. With more than 400 lots, it was still ongoing when I left after 5 hours. There were moments when a string of lots didn’t interest us, good friends shared with me about their auction strategies, how I can use it professionally,  and about bidding with like-minded friends so that we do not outbid each other.
Wine Auction 2-001
In the end, with lots of patience, intensive whispering of strategies, and some elbow and shoulder grease, we scored some really good labels at really good prices (can’t share as I share the purchase with a few individuals) such as

Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru 1990 Frederic Esmonin Gevrey Chambertin – 6btls
Chateau Leoville Barton 1979 – 6btls
Chateau de Fieuzal 1990 – 12btls
Chateau La Lagune 1983 – 12 btls

Can’t wait to attend the next one soon.

Weekend Treat…Skinny Jeans

Not quite a treat because I do not need to wait for weekends to wear jeans.

Skinny Jeans
But I realised that i have not worn jeans this week, and will not be doing so this weekend either. It is turning out to be a 7-day work week for me, and I will share with you soon why it is so soon.  Don’t worry, it is a good thing.
Here in my part of the world, we are enjoying a long weekend with Monday being a public holiday. And I have planned to sleep in till the $30 wine challenge dinner in the evening. That will be the day I put my jeans back on.

At the meantime…HAPPY WEEKEND.

Weekend Treat…Risky By-The-Glass

It wasn’t a weekend, but it was still a treat, despite the scary reports that I have been reading about it. This was my first Coravin by-the-glass. Served to me by a friend who is a Sommelier and the General Manager of the restaurant.
When I indicated that there are reports of exploding bottles, my friend said “never mind lah. Give it a taste”. I was a little apprehensive, so I sort of leaned backward when the wine was flowing (quite slowly actually) into the glass, just in case.

But I am so happy to see a restaurant using it because that means that it will be possible to taste wine that are either old or/and expensive by the glass, without the restaurant worrying about wastage and spoilage. Also, after encountering of a fragile and brittle cork that eventually required the usage of a decanter last evening, I believe the Coravin can be extremely useful in this situation.

I hope the people at Coravin will be able to sort out the issue of exploding bottles soon. I would love to get one for myself.

Weekend Treat…wife cake

It is 1120pm, Sunday.
I have been writing several posts, but none are quite complete. It has been a strange week, and that pile of clean laundry to be put away staring at me is not helping to get the writing juice going. This morning started out fine because I slept for 10 hours (now that’s a real treat on its own). I had my green juice (broccoli, spinach, pepper, cucumber, celery, green apple, orange, grapefruit and ginger) and I got the coffee brewing. Then I noticed something I brought back from Hong Kong 3.5 weeks ago and I thought and smiled happily…Breakfast is served!

Wife Cake-001
It is not quite a cake or biscuit (as the Chinese character translates), although it is called one. Basically it is flaky pastry with winter melon paste filling flavoured with honey and green tea. Perfect with my coffee splashed with just almond milk.

Just as I finished my delicious morning treat, Hubz called for rescue. Poor babe woke up at 430am this morning for a 120km ride, but could not ride home because his bicycle started to give him problem just probably shy of 20km from home.

As you can see, I can visit the treat again in 7 hours.

Weekend Treat…不错 Char Siew with Dad

We are always eating, and Father’s Day was definitely not an exception.
Although it has been known that Father’s Day celebration may not be as vibrant as Mother’s Day, but I am glad we planned the dinner a week. Reservation was made a week ago, and almost 1.5 kilos of the restaurant’s infamous Char Siew and Sio Bak were pre-ordered. We told Dad not to schedule any dinner with his golfing friends after his weekly games for the pork feast.
Here is my Dad. This dear man is 74 years old. He plays golf about 2 to 3 times a week, and I believe his handicap is in the low teens. He travels internationally about 4 times a year. Although he has a nagging cough that we could not figure out the source, he is otherwise in excellent health. He is a curious fella particularly for modern technology, but he finds it difficult to understand it. To me, and I know to my brothers and a lot of our friends, he cooks the best Hainanese Chicken Rice and Mutton Soup, Chicken Curry, Buddha Jumps over the Wall, Mustard Beef and my favourite Assam Fish Head Soup. The trouble is that he knows he cooks well, and so he is very critical about food not done by him. So our Char Siew feast was in his words: 不错 (not bad). LOL
Happy Father’s Day Dad.

Weekend Treat… 吃 (to eat)

Although it was a work trip with just couple of free days, I started researching about where to eat in Hong Kong weeks before departure. People told me that It should not be too difficult because there are several Michelin-starred restaurants. But it was not quite what I wanted when I have limited timing. Furthermore, I prefer those rustic local hole-in-the-wall types of restaurant. So the first thing I want is 云吞面 (wanton noodle). Not just any ordinary wanton noodle, but bamboo pressed wanton noodle.
Wanton Noodle
It is a traditional process of making noodle pressing the dough thin enough to cut into noodle. A laborious process that is not often used now. But this type of noodle has an interesting bite and crunch that can’t be replicate through the process of machinery. Simply served with good broth, wanton dumpling and roasted slice pork. Simply warms the soul.
Roasted Pork
Another important thing to eat in Hong Kong is 烧 肉 (Roasted Pork). We (hubby and I) love our 烧 肉, and we can be quite critical about it. It is not simply roasting, but the skill knowing how to manage temperature, how much to prick the skin to ensure crispiness without compromising the meat. We had this for dim sum at a restaurant recommend by a friend (thank you TC) was absolutely delicious, especially with mustard. The crunch was so addictive.

So we sorted out lunch, time to think about dinner. This time, hubby did the research and he suggested to explore a restaurant that serves English cuisine So there is steak, banger & mash, oxtail stew, steak & kidney pie, beef vindaloo (Hong Kong was under British colony and they love their curry…still), and deep-fried Brie. It stood out for me because it was crusted with a mixture of sesame seed and bread crumb, served with chutney.
Fried Brie-001
On the last day, and it was not a full day because we had to catch our flight in the late afternoon, we caught up with our good friends (TC, Grace and her husband) at a local restaurant on Kowloon side of Hong Kong. This is a restaurant that I have heard of from so many friends for their excellent and traditional-styled food. Here is a few that we indulged.
Egg White Scramble with dry scallop-001
Scrambled egg white with dried scallop. Grace shared that this dish came about because the Emperor want to eat crabs one evening and crabs were not in season. So the imperial chef came up with this dish of slow scrambled egg white with dried scallop. It had flavour of crabs and the texture of the egg white was so smooth. Again, simply served with a few dashes of black vinegar.
Peking Duck-001
Can’t leave this restaurant without savouring 北京鸭 (Peking Duck), and they are well-known for it. Here, they served the skin with meat, skilfully carved. Served with a simple dough wrap, hoisin sauce and julienned of spring onion and cucumber. But on its own…I am craving it now.
Steamed Dumpling wf TC-001
We rounded up lunch with some steamed dumpling. Complex and delicate flavours, simply eaten with julienned young ginger and black vinegar.
We rushed into a taxi right after lunch, with all these flavours lingering. I will always remember that smile on my hubby’s face as he said “that was good”.