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NYTimes article about Violet Oon's restaurant

Mar 13, 2013
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

How do you clean your oven ceiling (heating element and light)

Any tips for cleaning the oven ceiling? I have to poke my head in, look up, try to reach through the heating element and scrub with a stainless steel sponge. Also, the oven light is smattered with stains, i think just use a slightly abrasive sponge and gently scrub away?

I recently discovered that the side racks of my oven can be removed (for once i actually rtfm!)so I can clean the walls unencumbered. I can't tell you how excited I was to find this out. Previously I had scrubbed through the racks but felt that a lot of the stains were eluding me.

I would rather not use that Mr Muscle stuff. Now that my walls are clean, I want to know if there're any secrets to getting to the ceiling. I can't find anything on youtube specifically about the top, and the oven manual doesn't say that the heating element can be removed.

tia

Feb 28, 2013
timpani_mimi in Cookware

Would you pay $20 for a garbage bowl?

I've seen only a few of RR's shows (the 30 minute one), and I always thought the garbage bowl thing was a concept - a tip or a suggestion rather than a product. That is, always have a big receptacle ready for your prep waste - and she has a specific designated garbage bowl that she has on standby, it saves us time and is cleaner too. Like others have said, just grab some receptacle - a medium bin, a big old ice cream tub (thats what I use), or just have an open plastic bag ready. As practical suggestions go, it's good. But I'm sure a lot of us already did this before she suggested it. But to sell actual bowl for kitchen prep waste? (and expect us to buy it) That's like contrary to the whole point of this suggestion, IMO.

Feb 26, 2013
timpani_mimi in Cookware

Valentine's Day - Fine diners? Where are you going?

In Singapore, at least, Valentine's Day is increasingly the Day of the Supreme Marked Up Set Menu. Every cafe and restaurant transforms into a dimly lit sea of tables-for-two. On the menu - one, or two fixed course offerings, jacked up with a complimentary rose, fizzy alcohol, and key money elements like truffles, wagyu, kurobuta. I don't really know what the really current signifiers of "fine ingredients" are.

Where are you guys going? After years of valentine day dinners, we had an aha moment and gleefully decided to have a "no reservations" night that will still be special - Chilli Crabs tonight at East Coast (Jumbo is my favourite).

I'm still interested in what restaurants are serving/doing on Valentine's Day - what are everyone else's plans? Reviews?

Feb 14, 2013
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore - Top 10 Fine Dining restos (your opinions)

I've actually now decided on Pollen for the special occasion thing.

Questions to all:

The view at night: worth it? I had discounted this place initially because so many people cited the garden view as one of the pluses, and we are going for dinner.

Tipping - Well this is a thread on its own. 15% ? Thoughts?

Feb 13, 2013
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore - Top 10 Fine Dining restos (your opinions)

Thanks for all the recs. Well, I have discovered that I am fancier than I thought, based on the lists provided. I have actually already eaten at Les Amis, Au Jardin, Garibaldi and Gunthers. And speaking of French restaurants, there's that one at the Fullerton, which I know has been around for a very long time. However, I think they may have recently closed.

I'm reading this list against blogs and reviews, and so far I'm leaning towards Catalunya or Salt Grill. It's not going to be a steak night so we'll save Cut for another time. And Waku Ghin - I think we just are never going to eat there ever - maybe one day if we have a business situation or something. I definitely want to explore Chui Huay Lim, Pamplemousse another time, and Andre and Pollen will probably be reserved for the next fancy situation.

BTW - seguing into something else, are any of these restaurants on anyone's list for upcoming v-day? We are going against the grain and have decided to slather ourselves and our fingers with chilli crab sauce on the 14th.

Feb 08, 2013
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore - Top 10 Fine Dining restos (your opinions)

Hi experts

Looking for recs or ops on the best Fine Dining restos in Singapore. Want to pick one for a special occasion. Criteria are a generally nice atmosphere, table service and flavourful food.

I've already been to Joel Robuchon (the one in Sentosa), Guy Savoy and the one at the top of Skypark (i saw some bad reviews of that place here, and agree; but then I actually went in the first month of their opening), forgot the name (not kudeta). Have also tried Boulud's burger grill place. Looking for others. Any kind of cuisine OK

Help me! hehe. Thanks

Feb 05, 2013
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

Penang - Line Clear Nasi Kandar, Penang Road

Line Clear is the best :) but not cheap..

Dec 30, 2012
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

Penang - Hakka "Yong Tau Foo" at Padang Brown (Update)

I also liked their serving system - you go in a circle around the stainless steel "buffet," picking out the food items you want, and end up at the cooking dude, pay and collect the selection with soup and/or noodles.. quite efficient.

Dec 30, 2012
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

Pizza in Singapore

Have you tried Sole Pomodero? It's Neopolitan style, thin crust - margharitas. I found them quite good. You have to hunt for the place a bit.

http://ieatishootipost.sg/2010/12/sol...

For Peperoni (they actually spelled it wrong on purpose, I guess), the original one at Greenwood ave is a great place to hang out. Their 50-inch is a legend :)

Dec 02, 2012
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

penang - recommend hotel near street food places

Hi KLYeoh, I actually wanted to start another topic about the popiah but I think I'll reply to you here.

I actually tried the seafood Popiah at Padang Brown Hawker Centre! Quite bemused to see it referred to here because I did not take down this note of yours earlier (I did take down quite a few others). That stall you mention was very popular.

I don't really "get" this style of Popiah, it is as you say, drenched with a bit of gravy. By this time, we had already tried two other Popiahs in Penang (New Lane, Kek Seng and now here at Padang Brown), so we could assume we had established a baseline that this is the "correct" way of the Popiah here. But in Singapore we are used to a different style and couldn't shake the impression that the Popiah was soggy.

Its true that it's unlike anything elsewhere, but not sure how to appreciate it. Help me understand! :) (no flames please - this is a legit question. and my parents brought me up just fine.)

Dec 02, 2012
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

penang - recommend hotel near street food places

Hi All

Short note of thanks to all contributors to this thread, and to the forum regarding Penang recs. We've concluded our trip and I'm so glad for the
expert advice offered here. Here's a short update on what we did.

Location
- we are so happy with Trader's Hotel, we all found the location superb for walking to all the food places
- were able to walk everywhere we wanted, even down all the way to Little India area
- hardly took a cab except to the Botanical Garden one day, and one night to Red Garden
- glad we didn't go with Sunway in the end, it also seems to beunder renovation currently
- great recommendation.
- btw, Trader's Hotel has a free bus to their sister hotel at Gurney area for guests. My relatives used it and said that is a nice
hotel for being by the beach, etc.

Ate
- Places:
* Coffeshops/Food-courts - New Lane, Padang Brown, Red Garden, Kek Seng Coffeeshop, Joo Hooi
* Missed - One Corner Cafe (Next time), Sisters CKT, quite a few others because of time
* Individually famous places - Famous Penang Road Cendol, Goggles Aunty for CKT @ Lorong Salamat
- Favourites:
* Char Kway Teow - #1 goggles aunty @ lor selamat), #2 Padang Brown #3 Kek Seng
* Cendol - #1 Famous Penang Road Cendol (do you know that they have an outlet inside Komtar? price of 1 bowl is $2.50
* Assam Laksa - I think we have mixed impressions, and we did not make it to Ayer Itam. We like Joo Hooi but Kek Seng's one is much stronger
* New Line Nasi Kandar - great!
* Other good things: the mixed doufu & Pasembur at Padang Brown

I have a questiona bout Penang style Poh Piah which I will post seperately.

Penang is quite a unique place - feels like everybody speaks hokkien (I mean everybody :))
Thanks again.

Dec 02, 2012
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

penang - recommend hotel near street food places

Hi Penang_rojak - thanks very much for this great list. I'll be adding this to my compilation. Have been looking at google maps to familiarize myself with street names - and also to start compiling a walking strategy.

We have actually looked at boutique residence and also the Yeng Keng hotel . That sounds pretty nice actually. I felt that Boutique residence looked far away from new lane on the map. The other hotel we are considering is Traders Hotel, which is at Magazine, and quite near Kimberley St I believe. It seems possible that Sunway may be too rundown for us, or at least its all not decided yet. Can i get your opinion on where the "epicenter of all must-eat food" is? (1881 seems very high end, unless those prices of 1388 RM are per week rates!)

Sep 25, 2012
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

penang - recommend hotel near street food places

omg you are the best!

my heart skipped a beat for a moment when i checked the site and thought there was no pool (a pre-requisite for us, don't ask) but there is one. Your description of what to do above is exactly what I wanted to do, and was looking for. I think that could be my itinerary right there. Now - off to persuade the rest. (Beach view - pshaw!)

klyeoh ftw!

Sep 23, 2012
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

penang - recommend hotel near street food places

Thanks so much for the reply. I think we are honing down onto Gurney Residences, which is the cheapest of the three on Gurney. I'm not sold on staying there though, however, I'm not the only one going. I'm still reading up, but it seems a good option to plonk down somewhere in Georgetown and walk the streets rather than stake out at Gurney and drive down to Georgetown for meals, esp. if we only have two days ( 1 day reserved for hiking somewhere)

I'd like to know your personal take too. If you were just there to eat, where would you stay?

Sep 22, 2012
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

penang - recommend hotel near street food places

sorry i have another question about gurney drive: if there is a lot of traffic there and it's hard to get a taxi to get out to another location, couldn't we just duck down a side road to another road off gurney and get a cab there - is that feasible?

Sep 22, 2012
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

penang - recommend hotel near street food places

im working through the penang food reviews here to make a list of places to eat on a three-day visit. so far i have kimberley street, Padang Brown Hawker Centre, and a few others. My relatives want to stay at one of the hotels on Gurney Drive but from some basic reading and map reference, my impression is that there will be quite a lot of traffic congestion on the roads and this location is not that near some of the above food places.

i was wondering if i could get some assistance with these questions

- If there are only 2 or 3 days to experience Penang meal-wise (about 6-7 meals, assuming we are going to eat some at the hotel), where would you plant yourselves hotel-wise, and which streets/stalls would you eat at? i'm not interested in fine dining.

- there is a Gurney Drive hawker centre of some sort - if we just end up going there, is that a good summary of Penang street food?

- Gurney Drive hotel - a lot of mention made about the traffic and how its impossible to get out of that place, so it sounds like you're stuck in that area. is this true? if we want to go to places like Kimberley Street , is it impossible to get a taxi? i also want to do some hiking, so far i think the botanic gardens would be fine.

- Any other recommendations?

tia

Sep 22, 2012
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

Late night/24 hr eating options in Singapore?

well i could be wrong about this but although Lau Pa Sat may be open 24/7, there are actually very few food stalls that remain open after a certain time at night. i think there are bar-like stalls that open for the rest of the night. most of the proper food type stalls stay open in the mid-morning till late evening. i think lps is kind of empty after 10pm, unless you are into the satay street side, which does serve beer and satay (and a few other things) till a bit later.

for 24/hr, there's a chain called Xinwang that has a lot of menu items that claim to be Hong Kong and Taiwanese style. casual. Not all their outlets are 24/7 though - you can see their menu and outlet addresses here: http://www.xinwang.com.sg/

don't know if this will suit you, but you might try Chatterbox, which closes at 1 am on weekdays and 2am on weekends. it is a hotel restaurant, so more expensive. Its quite well -known and the quality is quite ok. It has the roundup of all the usual recommended singapore favourites: laksa, chicken rice, nasi lemak, etc. this restaurant is always commonly on someone's list for best chicken rice in Singapore (i would say top 25 at least).

if someone is throwing holland v into the mix, then don't forget Swenson's as well. its on the same row as wendy's and last i checked they were 24/7. they have a local dishes menu also, that is quite ok (hokkien mee, laksa, fried rice, chicken rice) - although they do change the menu around.

Sep 08, 2012
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

Bloggers upset over Diner en Blanc rule

what do we think of this still-developing pr fiasco?

klyeoh, are you attending the event?

Bloggers upset over Diner en Blanc rule
http://food.insing.com/feature/diner-en-blanc-blogger-local-food/id-df5c3f00

I Have Been Told To Remove My Blog Post; I Have Decided I Won’t
http://danielfooddiary.com/2012/08/24...

Aug 24, 2012
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

article -> Serious Eats: An Introduction to Singaporean Food

That part where KF Seetoh was chased out of a coffeeshop whilst trying to interview the roti prata seller ( where the owner rudely retorted, "I don't care, even the Prime Minister needs an appointment") was a classic. In fact, I *wouldn't* have even gone back there if I were KF Seetoh

---> hrm, i wished i had seen this, was this an earlier episode? it sounds hilarious. i saw the briyani one, where the the first time he went, it was closed. when he came back a second day, the briyani was sold out. the name of the place was something like Abak Dam. what i don't get about this (because it happened in today's episode again, where the resto was closed for a private event) is why he has to show this, and why he just doesn't keep going back and then show us a filmed segment where he did get to talk to the folks. or just skip them altogether if this wasn't possible. IMO i think there's too much focus on him (his reaction to the closures, his reaction to the signs showing the food is sold out), then on showing the actual food and makers.

I loved Mum's Not Cooking! I love Jacintha. I believe that was actually also one of Mediacorp's very first attempts at homegrown English local programming. I think it was even before Triple9. I actually thought Koh Chieng Mun was some kind of linguistic or accent teacher before her Dolly role?

I think there are a lot more opportunities for hawkers to be featured on TV nowadays, because there are so many programme segments that will cover food. That's good, in a way, but with so many programmes hungry for f&B content to cover, that's probably resulted in over-coverage and not everyone featured is great. The "chainification" of local hawkerfare and local snack foods is interesting, in a way it reflects necessary growth for family businesses. I never really liked Ya Kun, actually, but i do still like Old Chang Kee, and who doesn't like Bee Cheng Hiang, heheh.

Jul 30, 2012
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

Is that Mould on Jamie Oliver's Wooden Cutting Boards?

hrm, ok thank you all.

just one thing about the video at that link, just to confirm, if anyone is inclined to check it, about 8:38-9:00, where he's going on about the beets, you can see the dark corners of the board. so that's all just darkened wood and normal shading or something?

and how about this image here:
http://upcountryvintage.blogspot.sg/2...
(first picture from top)

just curious: whats that black edge on that board?

in googling variations of "moldy wood cutting board"there are quite a lot of posts/articles about mold occurring on wood cutting boards and what to do about it. i'll try sanding mine down, but if it doesn't work and bleach won't work i've already read that nothing else can be done and it has to be thrown away.

Jul 30, 2012
timpani_mimi in Cookware

Is that Mould on Jamie Oliver's Wooden Cutting Boards?

yes that's right, we use british english, thank you.

the thread has been quite an education, i've come round to this fact that wooden cutting boards are used for a very long time now. i googled some of the board types and the models described in other threads and notice they are very good quality and much more costly than the cheap ones i've been using (and that i assume some others do too). i can understand the long-term use and love of good boards now.

but i definitely do get mould on both my plastic and wooden boards (not the plastic one, currently), despite cleaning it very well after every use. and i do think it is quite common to change boards every once in awhile for some, if not all. there are a lot of people who use the cheaper cutting boards, even wood ones, i assume probably for this reason. i have a wood board now that was about US$7; the only thing that we don't do here is the oiling of the board to maintain it, i think i will try to look into this going forward.

my kitchen is not air conditioned but it is breezy. the boards dry very quickly.

Jul 30, 2012
timpani_mimi in Cookware

Is that Mould on Jamie Oliver's Wooden Cutting Boards?

hrm.. interesting. i didn't realize people kept their boards for that long. really - years? is it just the wooden ones or the plastic/polymer ones too? sorry for replying to you K, i'm not sure who to reply to but my question is in general to all who have already replied. do you really want my cutting boards? i wouldn't mind giving them over but i'm not sure that's sanitary :)

so - its not common to switch cutting boards every few months? if it makes a difference, i do live in a warm climate. i don't like having knifemarks in the boards because of the bacteria that can get inside (score marks in wood can't be sanitized, am i right about that ? ) and i'm not keen on bleaching wood. i have actually done some reading on cleaning boards, and i don't like stains or smells on the boards either. i throw away cutting boards once there are fair amount of score marks or stains (it takes a fair amount of time, but nothing like years)

Jul 28, 2012
timpani_mimi in Cookware

Is that Mould on Jamie Oliver's Wooden Cutting Boards?

I can't help it, I do love Jamie Oliver. One of Jamie's things in his 30 Minute TV series is to suggest that the prepared dish be served on a normal wood cutting board, right after its prepared. Eg in one eppy he serves a nicely dressed, long roast beef sandwich straight on the board after prepping it with juices dripping on same board. It does look quite nice. But I notice that often, the boards he uses for both cutting and serving look very mouldy in some areas. I'm trying to find a youtube episode with a very mouldy example for anyone who doesn't know what I mean - but you can kind of see a bit of it here, this is the steak sandwich episode - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isxKwv... (you can kind of see it at the beginning, and at 13:16 you can see the mould on the side of the board, at 15: 11 you can see the dark patches at the corners).

*Is* that black stuff mould or is it the board naturally darkening? If not, what else is it? If yes.. yuck, right? Shouldn't we be bothered that he's sopped up mould juice onto his foot long? I've seen this kind of black staining on boards of other cooking show hosts - i think most recently i saw an extremely stained board on Nigel Slater's Simple Suppers. I do get that same stuff on mine, and it can't be scrubbed off. I just discard my cutting boards once the black stuff gets to a point (the point is far below what i see on jamie's boards). I have a wire rack for cutting boards that is well ventilated and dry them after use there, but I also do dry them on the dish rack (which is even better ventilated) sometimes. They dry fast. Anyway I do have other issues with boards and prefer to get all new cutting boards every few months. I use both wood and the plastic kinds for different purposes. I don't know what kind of wood my wooden cutting boards are made of. I don't immerse the boards in water.

How often do you change your boards? Do your wooden boards get mouldy?

Jul 28, 2012
timpani_mimi in Cookware

article -> Serious Eats: An Introduction to Singaporean Food

oh i know what you mean, when i first came here i found the inaccurate and overly rhapsodic pontificating over some food and produce that is very common to us very curious, especially by some who seem to base their opinions mostly on wikipedia and other googled articles. Well.. you learn to love it.

This was the weirdest standout phrase from the article for me -

"A spoonful of quivering tofu from a plastic carton will change your relationship with bean curd. "

Haha.. very nice.

Its interesting also that the Singapore Tourism Board went out of its way to sponsor a blogger's trip. They must take their job quite seriously - they should look into sponsoring your reviews as well, I think. Quite a good service, if you don't mind my saying.

At least Falkowitz wrote a comprehensive overview. It's much better than the latest Seetoh episode on Singapore in Food Surprise. Half of the restos he featured were not filmed (not allowed to film on premise), resulting in his eating their food from outside MBS and talking about them, and a good portion of the rest was hard to understand because of his famous mumbling.

Jul 27, 2012
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore - Kinki and Rang Mahal

i loved rang mahal when i used to go a few times a couple of years ago. it was like a great version of a Westernized Indian Restaurant for me. the dum briyani and fish curry (I think it was kerala fish curry) were favourites. Its a nice, upscale restaurant with better than average service. however i was told by friends that the food at Song of India and Shai Maharani in Raffles City were better. I then tried Shahi Maharani but did not agree, and have never tried Song of India. Song of India is in one of those colonial houses (if i'm not wrong) and probably has a very nice ambience. Rang Mahal has a nice, modern, upscale decor. Shahi Maharani, unless they have renovated in the last two years, is a bit worn and tired.

but ooh, have just read klyeoh's review of Punjab Grill from his link above and it sounds quite inviting. i think i will be checking out SOI and PG soon.

Jul 27, 2012
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

simple chicken livers recipe (not pate) - pan frying

thanks all, very nice! most of the suggestion sound within my reach. appreciate it!

Jul 27, 2012
timpani_mimi in Home Cooking

article -> Serious Eats: An Introduction to Singaporean Food

Pretty nice and lengthy article about Singaporean food from Serious eats

http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/07/an...

Jul 27, 2012
timpani_mimi in China & Southeast Asia

Fruits That Aren't Too Sweet

i second dragonfruit. dramatic appearance but not somewhat bland (lets use the word "subtle") in taste. not too sweet. there are two kinds of dragonfruit, the kind with dark purple/pink inside, and the other kind with white insides.

Jul 26, 2012
timpani_mimi in General Topics

simple chicken livers recipe (not pate) - pan frying

can everyone share their favourite pan-fried chicken livers recipe? i'm looking for something simple. any style (chinese, etc), but preferably not too complicated.

thanks.

Jul 26, 2012
timpani_mimi in Home Cooking