Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Stir-fried Brinjal & Bitter gourd

My apologies for the lack of blogging due to some personal issues going on lately.
My mum was not available to cook and my sister was not home.
So, that made me the only one responsible for lunch. However, much to my dismay, there were a severe limited choices of vegetables left in the fridge. As I was not in the mood to visit the market or eat out,  I had to make do with whatever was left in the fridge. 




Thai Organic mixed brown rice
I'd recommend this brand of brown rice as it is easy to cook and does not end up being mushy or overly dry like other brands I have tried.I think brown rice is a much healthier option than white ones, given that it boasts  many health  benefits  such as prevention of diabetes, more vitamins and minerals. Also, I personally like the rough texture and the sweet aroma of brown rice. 



Ta Da, all ready! 
My Dad does not really favour the taste of brown rice so we reached a compromise by purchasing mixed brown rice.

Ingredients all ready!

Stir fried Baby Brinjals( Egg plants)
I heard many dislike this vegetable as they find it too mushy and gooey for their liking. But I love brinjals whichever way they are cooked, even when steamed with soy sauce. I really enjoy both its soft texture and wonderful taste. Also, this vegetable provides essential nutrients that are needed for the overall well-being of the body.  This dish is easy and quick to prepare, given that I took around 10  minutes for the entire cooking time.
Ingredients
1. 4 baby Indian Brinjals
2. Olive oil
3. 1/2 Carrot(chopped)
4. Vegetarian Chinese chilli paste 
5. light/dark Soy sauce
6. 1 table spoon Fine Brown Sugar 
7. 1 fresh chilli padi(sliced)


Method:
1.Heat the wok over medium-high flame, then add 2 table spoons of olive oil. 
2.Add in chopped carrots and chilli padi, stir fry
3. Add brinjals, and stir fry 
3. Add 2 spoonful of vegetarian chilli paste, and soy sauce. 
4. Season with 1 table spoon of brown sugar and sprinkle in pepper
5. Continue to stir fry until ready to serve. Easy and quick recipe!



Stir-fried Bitter Gourd with Carrots
This is yet another highly unpopular dish, as few enjoy its bitter taste.   On the contary, this is one of my favourite vegetable. This is another extremely easy dish to make, and is perfect for those rushing for time.
The steps are relatively the same for stir-fried brinjals. However, instead of  adding brown sugar and chilli paste, I added 2 spoonful of olive vegetable paste for a different flavour.

There you go! Easy and quick dishes to make, yet yummy! 


xo




Sunday, 21 August 2011

Sakae Sushi


Sakae Sushi is one of the few Japanese restaurants which offer vegetarian options.
I went to check out the outlet at Harbourfront centre and was pleasantly surprised by the good range of vegetarian options provided, with an entire page on the menu catering to vegetarians. 


The service was rather inefficient and  disorganised. They have this system which allows customers to take orders or call for help using the electronic screen provided on each table. But my friend had to press the button thrice before the waitress finally attended to us. Also, the bill was summed up to the wrong amount. Nonetheless, the lady that served us was friendly and patient.
  

Kitsune Soba $7.99
Green tea buck wheat noodle topped with beancurd skin,sea weed, and mushrooms.
The Soba was springy and chewy, much to my preference. Also,  I really enjoyed the sweetness of the beancurd skin, which  is usually salty in Chinese style of cooking.. However, the soup was a tad too bland for my liking.
7/10


Shitake Tofu $4.99
I love all kinds of mushrooms, and shiitake mushroom is one of my favourite!  



Mushroom Tempura $6.99
I have a weakness for fried food, though i try my best to stay away from them.  It was hard to resist this dish given that it constitutes of assorted mushrooms, fried with tempura flour.
This dish  tasted heavenly when dipped into the tempura sauce and  not overly oily.
7/10


Rice paper Maki $6.99
Rice paper with mango, Japanese cucumber,tomato wrapped within.
This dish is healthy, delicious and fun to eat.
As I  savour the entire wrap in my mouth,  the  mango melted in my mouth and its sweetness blended perfectly with the rice paper and the rest of the ingredients. A refreshing and healthy choice indeed!
8/10





Harbourfront Centre
Harbourfront MRT Station 
1Maritime Square#02-85 / 85A
 Singapore 099253
Tel: 6276 8804
Opening Hours:11:30am - 10:00pm daily







Joyful Vegetarian Tomato Pasta




Ingredients
1 lb Penne
  • 7 fresh tomatoes(chopped)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery(cubed)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2/4 cup unsalted roasted almonds, chopped
  • 4 slices of cheddar cheese, cubed (ran out of parmesan cheese ): )
  • 2 fresh chilli padi(chopped)
  • cherry tomatoes( for garnishing purpose)

Method:
1. Cook penne according to directions. Cook to al dente.
2. When the pasta has cooked, drain and let it cool down a bit.  Mix in olive oil (enough to lightly coat the pasta) to prevent the penne from sticking to each other

3.Bring a pot of water to a boil. Have ready a large bowl of iced water. Plunge whole tomatoes in boiling water until skin starts to peel, 1 minute. Place tomatoes into ice water to ensure it is cool enough to handle. Then remove peel and squeeze out seeds.

4. Add 3 spoonful of olive oil into the sauce pan, then cubed celery, chilli padi and carrots.
Stir in chopped tomatoes and add one cup of water, then bring to a boil. Then season to taste with salt, pepper, and 2 spoonful of tomato paste. 


5.When the sauce is ready, add in the cooked penne and mix well.
Then top with chopped roasted almond and cheddar. It is now ready to be served, garnished with cherry tomatoes

I tweaked the original recipe for my own traditional tomato pasta while preparing lunch for my family today.
 I was so relieved that I did not receive any complaints but ,much to my surprise and delight, some compliments from my personal strictest food critic- my father. 
So, i guess this tweaked recipe turned out successful! 
Personally, I was quite pleased with the outcome of this recipe. The chopped roasted almonds brought a pleasant crunch, and blended well with the sweetness of the tomato.
However, I had slightly underestimated the amount of sauce to serve four. i would advice that more water should be added to avoid  sauce getting too thick or insufficient and let it boil down to the right amount.
I dont know if you have noticed, but I have used celery leaves for  garnishing purpose as I ran out of basil leaves. (please dont laugh!)

xo

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Asian Buffet at Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant

This particular restaurant offers a range of buffet choices- international buffet, steamboat buffet, as well as Asian buffet. I have long heard about this restaurant located within Quality hotel at Balestier road, and finally went ahead to check out the Asian buffet at this restaurant recently. 
The Asian buffet has  over 100 types of scrumptious vegetarian dishes from China to East Asian cuisines, as well as some western fare too. The tremendous variety of dishes have made it impossible to review each one of them, and hence, I am only reviewing approximately 1/4 of  it.


Asian Buffet Price (per person/buffet)Adult: S$18.80++
Child: S$9.90++ (base on height below 1.2m)
Lotus VIP Card:entitiled 10% discount (except Public Holiday & eve of Public Holiday & special occasions.

(every Friday - Sunday + Public Holiday)
You have a wide selection of over 100 different dishes to enjoy. 

The ambience of this restaurant was pleasant and relaxed.
Also, the staff was attentive and alert to replace our used plates.
The food refills were also quite frequent and fairly quick.  
There are a tremendous variety of food choices that are beautifully presented with intricate designs. The efforts put into presenting the food are highly laudable!

Assorted Sushi

Wasabi and miso dip sauce was provided!
oishii ne~!
Sashimi
Having been a meat-eater in the past, I had tasted the real sashimi and I was not a  huge fan of it.
 I was  rather suprised when I first tasted this,because,to my horror,this mock sashimi is alarmingly similar to the authentic one.

Creme beancurd stick

Spicy Pumpkin
Honey-coated Gingko


Nori vegetable roll with Mayo.

Marinated bean sprouts

Soya cake


Salad !

From the clockwise direction: Dim sum(pandan vegetarian chicken bun, vegetarian shark fin dumpling(in green), pumpkin dumpling, seaweed roll, vegetable dumpling), Samosa, Nori vegetable roll with mayo
This was what I had on my first round of this buffet. 
Since I had my diet transformation, I've rarely got the chance to eat Dim sum. And  I cant tell you how glad I was when I knew it was included in this buffet! 
The vegetarian shark fin dumpling(in green) was my favourite of them all. At first, I was intrigued by its exotic appearance, then I realised that it tasted as good as its appearance!
  The silky texture of the skin of the Dumpling with mock shark-fin and vegetables wrapped within is simply scrumptious. You can feel it slowly melt in your mouth with a burst of  flavour. It was heavenly. I didnt hesitate to get a second one, and had to force myself to stop taking more to save space for other dishes.
The only one one I did not really enjoy eating was the pumpkin dumpling. It had a type of sweetness to it which I did not really favour and I find it too gooey for my liking.


Overall, I think this buffet is highly recommendable as I think it is indeed value for money. Not only does this buffet provide a tremendous variety of Asian food, the food served were of good standard and tasted delicious.  As I have mentioned, I have only included approximately 1/4 of the food available in the Asian Buffet in this restaurant. The other dishes I have tried include vegetarian curry, chicken rice, mee-siam, eggless cake, and the list goes on. Do make a visit, you'd be spoilt for choice!

201 Balestier Road
Singapore 329926  
 Tel: 6254 0090/1 
Opening Hours
Daily: 11:30 - 15:00
Daily: 18:00 - 22:00
Nearest MRT
Boon Keng




Monday, 15 August 2011

Swensen's !

Many tend to assume that a vegetarian diet must be healthy food. However, being a vegetarian doesn't mean having healthy food all the time. I am one apt example who love all kinds of sinful, yet delicious food. However, I do try my best to stay away, and eat these food in moderation.  
During the weekend, I satisfied my cravings for my all-time favourite food vices- ice cream and fries at Swensen's.




\
U.S Fries and Dips $5.50
 Fries served with BBQ and tar tar sauce.
One thing I really liked about Swensens fries is that they are not as salty as the ones served in fast food restaurants, and is crispy and firm, not soggy and limp. I prefer having my fries dipped in the Tar Tar sauce rather than the BBQ sauce, it tasted heavenly! It was so delicious that we requested for a refill of the tar tar sauce as we wiped the last bit of the sauce with our fries.


Merri-Mint $6.90
As I have a sweet tooth,I have a terrible weakness for ice-cream. This Mint ice cream covered with hot fudge is one of my all-time favourite  at Swensens!  The cooling and refreshing taste of the mint ice-cream is just so irresistible and delicious.  Also, being a fan of chocolate, I really enjoyed the hot chocolate fudge as well. I literally scraped the last bit of the ice-cream as I just couldnt get enough of it. What I think could be improved on is that there should be less cream and more mint ice cream. Also, the cherry tasted artificial.



 Enjoying my ice-cream!

As much as I love the fries and the wide array of ice-cream flavours in Swensens, I wish this restaurant could be more vegetarian friendly. This restaurant holds pleasant memories for me as I frequent there when I was a lot younger. It would be wonderful if there could be vegetarian options within its main courses, as according to the waitor,  none of  it is fully vegetarian as chicken stock is used to prepare the dishes. I wanted to write about this in its feedback form at the counter, but my pen ran out of ink.  I would definitely do so on my next visit there!

Honzen Cafe

My non-vegetarian friend brought me to Honzen Cafe, and I am sure I would definitely patronise this lovely cafe again! This dining place enjoys a steady stream of customers and the excellent staff service in this particular cafe is indeed commendable. 




This dining place provides a cozy environment, with a modern look.
 I must add that the staff service was extremely good, and one of the best I have experienced so far! The people were genuine and down-to-earth, always checking to make sure that their customers are comfortable and satisfied.


We were served peach-flavored enzyme drink upon arrival.  Delicious and whet your appetite! 










Dragon fruit fried rice. $7.90
Stir-fried Pearl Rice with dragon fruit, vegetarian ham and corn kernel topped with tomato slices.
This dish is one of the specialty of Honzen Cafe. This is my first time trying a Dragon fruit fried rice and I must say that  I really enjoyed this dish! The fruit added sweetness to the pearl-like rice, making this dish both interesting and tasty!


Each main course comes with clear mock chicken soup .  9/10
I was pleasantly surprised that this soup was so tasty and well-brewed. Usually, the soup that comes with the meal are often tasteless or with massive MSG added. But this soup tasted so good I kept drinking for more.


Honzen Paradise $8.90 6/10
Special fragrance rice served with mushrooms, alfalfa sprouts, steamed pumpkin slices, steamed yam, and assorted nuts.
What I liked about this dish was the rich variety of vegetables provided and its appealing presentation with the wide array of colours. Moreover, the pearl-like rice tasted good with its soft yet chewy texture. However, even though the rest of the food was served warm, I was really disappointed  that the rice was served cold. I am someone who likes my food served hot!
Also, the steam yam had a slimy taste to it, which I didn't really enjoy as I personally feel that it didn't go well with the rice.



Address:470 North Bridge Road, #01-01
North Bridge Commercial Complex, S(188735)
Opening Hours:Mon - Sat, 11.00 am - 9.30 pm
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays
Bus Service:7, 32, 51, 61, 63, 80, 145, 175, 197, 851
MRT Station:Bugis
Website:http://www.honzencafe.com.sg/

Saturday, 13 August 2011

yummy drinks for the week!

1) Mon: Hot Chocolate with whip cream $6.40
I dont usually patronise Starbucks as i seldom drink coffee unless i absolutely have to and because I feel that the drinks are a little more than over-charged.
 BUT. A friend gave me a Star Bucks discount coupon awhile ago. Plus, I had the entire afternoon to myself and the idea of reading at a cozy place with a cup of hot drink was tempting.
This hot cocoa beverage from Star Bucks was so tasty that just makes one cant get enough of it. This hot chocolate comes with steamed milk with vanilla topped with sweetened whipped cream. It has just the right amount of cocoa  and not too sweet for my liking. This comforting cup of beverage stood by me as I stayed for hours reading my book in a quiet corner in the outlet at Harbourfront centre #01-76/77 .









2)Tues: Artichoke Tea 
This drink is perfect after a heavy meal, which I had at Lotus Vegetarian restaurant(I will blog about this soon, promise!) 
The aroma of this artichoke tea is rather interesting with a slight floral tone to the scent. Also, it has a unique type of sweetness to its taste. I really enjoyed drinking this! 


3)Wed:Mango Aloe vera drink $2.80
This delicious drink is one of the lastest additions to Toast Box menu. I went to the outlet at Vivo City S(098585) LB2-34. 
  This drink is indeed refreshing and perfect for a warm and humid weather! However, the health conscious may find this a little too sweet. 
But I really enjoyed this as I have a sweet tooth.



4) Thurs:Beetroot with carrot and apple $2.00
Location:  Bukit Merah hawker centre #02-45 King Avocado
I ordered this drink, which is also known as the ABC juice, while having tea break at work.  I was really glad I ordered this as I was really sleepy and kept nodding off. This drink really helped to perk me up! 
This drink is one of my favourite brain-boosting juices. It also boasts exceptional health benefits and tastes delicious!



Thursday, 11 August 2011

Lerk Thai!

I had dinner with my great buddy, Novell. It has been awhile since we had a chance to catch up and talk about anything we can think about. She is a meat-eater and to accomodate each other, we settled for a place that serves both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food- Lerk Thai!! Lerk Thai Restaurant offers a diverse variety of authentic Thai cuisine, fusion dishes and street food from different parts of Thailand, and most importantly, this restaurant offers vegetarian options as well.





Great ambience and the staff were polite and helpful even though we were really fickle-minded about where to seat. We moved from seats to seats and finally settled in a corner outside the restaurant. 
  

Nov!
 she couldnt decide what to eat. :P
 

Vegetarian Phad Thai $9.90

One word for this dish- delicious!
I was surprised by my own reaction when i got a taste of this yummy dish. I literally squealed with delight! This traditional Thai rice noodles were soft but still deliciously chewy and a little bit sticky. This dish would be perfect for spicy food lovers like me, as the grounded Thai chilli and spices were really no joke. Remember to prepare plenty of water before slurping down the noodles after mixing the grounded Thai chilli and spices! 8/10
 

Seven years of friendship and still making memories! <3
 
Tanjong Pagar Mrt Station
Maxwell Road, 069119
6327 7717
Open Weekdays 11am-9pm









Sunday, 7 August 2011

Brinda's

I love doing things alone. Its way more efficient and feels refreshing.

Ah, the peacefulness is priceless.

On Friday, I had a date with myself. It was time to have dinner and Brinda's caught my eye!

 This restaurant offers both North Indian and South Indian cuisine providing both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. Also, this restaurant is Halal certified, and is open 24hours everyday!


I ordered a set of  Plain Thosai at $4.50 which includes a drink.
The thosai is a thin crispy pancake made of rice and lentils.
I like the taste of a plain thosai because you can really taste the fragrance of the skin which would otherwise be covered if you ordered one with fillings. This thosai has a great balance of fluffiness and crispiness, and tasted great when dipped in the curry sauce. Their lime drink was refreshingly good as well. It is a habit for me to order lime drink at a Indian restaurant. For some reason, I feel that it is compatible with the food!  8/10





Blk 162, #01-3533
Bukit Merah Central
Singapore 150162
Contact number : 62746327