New Year is just a few days away.

WHERE HAS THIS YEAR GONE TO?!?!?! Like seriously? Just one blink and it’s a brand new year again.

Time really flies huh?

On one hand, i can’t wait till i’m 40 (this spells f.r.e.e.d.o.m coz by then my eldest boy would be in college and my youngest will be in high school! *yayness* errr.. nope, i’m not 39 this year ok!) but on the other, i’m so dreading the fine lines and wrinkles — i’m in denial and i refuse to acknowledge them! :P — and and… my short term memory loss, which is getting worst (think Dory from Finding Nemo!).

This coming year, i promise to treat and love myself a little better. :)

So here it is, something for the healthier and happier (tummy) me.
(after all that festive and holiday feasting, this is a must!!)

Vietnamese Vegan Papaya Salad

(from lovely Anh – a food lover’s journey)
1 green papaya (choose the firm one)
3 carrots, medium size
3 garlic cloves, skinned and crushed finely
2 bird-eye chillis (adjust to taste), crushed finely

Dressing for the papaya mixture: 1 cup white vinegar, ¾ cup sugar
Dressing for the carrot mixture: 4 tablespoons sugar, 6 tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup skinned, roasted peanuts (the unsalted kind) or pistachio, crushed roughly
Salt
1.5 cups or more of fresh herbs: use the mixture of your favourite Asian herbs. I like coriander (cilantro), Thai basil and Vietnamese mint (aka laksa leaves). Washed and leaves picked.

Method

Prepare the green papaya first. Remove the skin, then cut the fruit in half. Remove the white seeds, then shred the papaya as thin as you can. Soak the shredded papaya in acidulated water to remove some of the natural latex for 30 mins.

Now, onto the carrot – peel off the skin and shredded the carrot just like you do with the papaya. Add the sugar and vinegar mixture (4 tablespoons sugar, 6 tablespoons white vinegar) and a pinch of salt to the carrot. Toss well, taste and set aside.

Drain the papaya well. Combine the dressing with the garlic, chilli and a pinch of salt. Toss through the papaya mixture. Taste (it should be quite strong in flavours).

Leave the papaya and carrot mixtures to rest for an hour or so.

Meanwhile, prepare the herbs by cut the leaves roughly.

To prepare the salad mixture, gently squeeze the dressing out of the papaya and carrot mixtures. You want a moist mixture in the end, so don’t squeeze too hard. Mix the carrot and papaya together. Now, taste the mixture – it should have that sweet-sour balance (more on the sweet side). Adjust with the dressing.

When it’s ready to serve, toss through the herbs and peanuts. This kind of salad keeps for a while. Enjoy!

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Not sure about you but there’s something about spicy and sourish food that makes my mouth waters every time i think or see it and that is so happening right this moment. Haha!

I’m sending this entry to Delicious Vietnam, hosted this month by Indonesia Eats (founded by A food lover’s journey and Ravenous Couple).

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Have a Wonderful & Happy New Year everyone!!

May next year be a better year for all of us! :)

Stay healthy and be happy!
(yup, that’s all i need for now)

xoxo

It’s Christmas Eve!

But strangely, i am not feeling it. Perhaps it’s because we just arrived home safely yesterday from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and i’ve not seen the maddening crowds at Orchard Road yet! Haha!

The only thing i baked for X’mas this year is the fruit cake but that post gotta wait a bit because i’m reserving it for tomorrow!

So, for now.. Plum Clafoutis will do ok? ;)

I love plums.

But only the plump, juicy and sweet ones.

When we were given a few batches of plums that weren’t so ideal to be eaten just like that, clafoutis came to mind!

I love, love, love clafoutis. This and bread pudding are the only 2 dessert items that i would seriously look out for whenever i’m at buffet or high tea. Grin. Guess i’m a custard kinda girl, huh?

After searching high and low for a suitable recipe, i finally decided on La Tartine Gourmande’s recipe. So it’s an old old recipe but hey, it’s Bea! How bad can it be?

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Verdict :

LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best with warm vanilla custard sauce or vanilla bean ice cream which balances the tart tasting plums to perfection.

Plum Clafoutis

(from La Tartine Gourmande)

  • 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 7 oz milk
  • 2 oz cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • About 1 lb + 2 oz plums
  • 3.5 oz heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp butter + 2 Tbsp sugar to cook the plums

i could eat all the plums here! so delish! yes, i stole one to try out of curiosity. :P

Methods:

  • Preheat your oven at 410 F.
  • Wash your plums and slice them open. Remove the stones.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp butter in a pan. Add the plums and 2 Tbsp sugar and cook for 5 mns. Set aside.
  • Butter small molds (or a large one) and sprinkle them with sugar.
  • In a bowl, mix together the cold milk with the cornstarch.
  • In another bowl, beat the eggs with the egg yolk. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the cream and mix.
  • Mix the milk/cornstarch preparation with the egg one.
  • Place the cooked plums in your molds, face up.
  • Pour the preparation over and cook in the oven for about 30 min, until golden.
  • Remove from the oven. Sprinkle with sugar and eat lukewarm preferably.

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Here’s wishing all my lovely blog readers a blessed and merry Christmas! :)

It was a Kinki night alright.

Not only we dined at a restaurant + bar named Kinki, we even had special drink concoctions mixed just for some of us which we (not me! :P) nicknamed Kinki Male and Kinki Female!

I’ m very certain that if you are residing in Singapore, you would know where is Customs House by now and of course, if you anything like me — loves food and always on the lookout for new establishments to try out — you would have heard of Kinki, Japanese with an Urban Attitude restaurant.

Because i was the last one to arrive (yes, it’s so not me!) i didn’t really get the chance to walk around and take photos of the funky restaurant.

When i first stepped into the restaurant, the vibe i got was hey, totally unpretentious and not intimidating at all despite its awesome and atas location! To be more precise, i felt funky and fun and comfortable. It was like i could just let my hair down and just laugh out loud (uh huh, i can laugh very loudly — gasp. almost like a man! — and i’m always laughing! heeeee!) at Kinki.

I like. :)

Kinki’s Christmas Menu

As i looked around, the first thing that got hold of my attention was the murals, murals on the wall and murals on the floor. It’s not those arty farty kind of murals or paintings that you get in most restaurants. They are more like Japanese anime + manga sorta murals and very graffiti like! How interesting!  

Later i was told that these murals were done by tattoo artist, Chris Garver from Miami Ink. Wow!

Clockwise : Foie Gras on Toastlet with Ginger and Yuzu, Spiced Miso Chamame $8 and  Momotaro Tomato with ginger sesame dressing $16

I’m most embarrassed. LOL!

The first few of my photos didn’t turn out OK at all due to extreme low lighting in the restaurant even though i cranked up the camera to ISO 3200 and at aperture 1.8. It was later when the foods were placed on a better lit table, the photos were passable.

But please, feel free to check out the friends’ gorgeous food photos – Little Teochew, Camemberu and KeropokMan.

All of the items above are  from Kinki’s signature ala carte menu.

I don’t eat Foie Gras for personal reason and also because i am not enomoured by the taste but this, was really very mild tasting and creamy. With subtle ginger taste and the refreshing yuzu, i stomached this rather well. 

As for Chamame that was sauteed with spicy miso, garlic and soy, bet you know what i’d say yeah? Hehee! It was totally addictive! Momo, who was sitting right next to me couldn’t stop eating it. Heheheee!

The tomatoes .. ahhh.. let’s just say, i could finish the whole plate by myself if i want to *wink*

From left : Tai Carpaccio with truffle dressing and shio konbu $30, Kinki Style Okonomiyaki $24

If you don’t take meat, do let Chef Wing Lam know when you are ordering. He would be more than happy to subtitute the Foie Gras which is in the X’mas Menu with decadent Tai Carpaccio with truffle dressing and shio konbu. (don’t you just love the leaf on the snapper? it’s little touches like this that makes me go awwww.. I don’t know about you but the red leaf made me think of autumn and canada and maple syrup. haha!)

Kinki’s Okonomiyaki (Hokkaido scallops, prawns, apple wood smoked bacon, sweet onions and mozzarella) was nothing like the norm that you can find outside. It was very much pizza-like for the crust. Because of this, i put down my chopsticks and used my hand to pick up the Okonomiyaki just like how i would with pizza. It was really quite delicious!

From left : Soft Shell Crab Maki, Assorted Sashimi, Pork Floss Maki

While soft shell crab maki may be my favorite between the 2 and got me totally curious on its extraordinary but cutesy skin, pork floss maki had most of my attention when we were told that ricotta cheese was one of the ingredients used apart from the usual avocado.

With the seafood flown in 4 times a week from Japan, you can be rest assured that the sashimi here is nothing but fresh fresh fresh! I was a little lucky that night because my partner (poor sweet Germaine from Kinki) who i was supposed to share the sashimi with told me to go ahead and have them all because her tummy was feeling funny since morning that day.  So yes, i had all the sashimi by myself that night. Wheeee!

Sushi of Kajiki, Salmon, Hiramasa & Hirame + Foie Gras & Scallop Sushi $22/ 2 pcs (not in the menu)

Again, i was blown away by the Foie Gras & Scallop Sushi and i don’t even eat Foie Gras! If you are ordering this, do remember to devour it while it’s still hot. What made it rocked was the sauce. Awesomeness. Of course, the melt in the mouth foie gras and the fresh scallop played a huge part too!

As for the rest of the sushi, all i could say is, gimmmeeeeeeeeeeee more! Hehehehhee!


From left : US Prime Beef Teriyaki, Hokkaido Milk Poached White Cod with Crispy Ginger 

For the Christmas Menu, you will be getting Ginger Teriyaki of US Prime Beef Ribeye instead of the above because well, Christmas is not here yet! Grin. So, some of the ingredients were not available at the time we went for the tasting unfortunately.

I had the fish. Frankly speaking, when i read that the cod would be poached in Hokkaido milk, i was expecting melt in the mouth texture. Instead, the fish was firm which wasn’t that bad at all but of course, if it had that melt in the mouth texture, I will be much happier. Heh!

You won’t believe what was used in the meat sauce.. i was sorta expecting some minced meat judging from the appearance but alas, i was wrong. It turned out to be pork floss! It has never crossed my mind that pork floss can be cooked and eaten this way! How creative!

Clockwise : Kinki’s bar, LittleTeochew’s Kinki Female, Black Sesame and Mochi Parfait, Wild Berry Sparkling Mojito $16

For the dessert, it was Black Sesame and Mochi Parfait. Apart from the ice cream and mochi, kinako powder was generously sprinkled all over and adzuki beans can be found in the very same cup as well. I love the whole combination quite a bit, you know? ;)

If an extra mochi were offered, i’ll gladly take it on despite the fullness i felt at you-know-where.. Hee! Can’t help it, i love mochi and Kinki’s mochi is done pretty well!

I had 2 glasses of cocktails that night – Ginger Kumquat Caipirinha (not pictured) & Wild Berry Sparkling Mojito. Both were categorized under Unique Muddles and i couldn’t agree more. The mixologist at Kinki is quite something i must say. So many fresh ideas! Importantly, all tasted yummy especially my Ginger Kumquat Caipirinha. Aaaaaahhhhhh~ Believe it or not, i’m craving for it now as i’m typing this. Hahahaa!

After dinner, we were brought upstairs to the rooftop bar which is not fully furnished yet but(!) it will be very soon.

Whoaaa … Million dollar views!!

However, the rooftop bar will be opened on X’mas eve and New Year eve and after that, all the way through. Yay!!  Now i totally know where to bring my friends from other countries when they come visit.

Awesome food, reasonably priced, attentive and friendly service staff + stunning  unblocked views. You can be very certain i’ll be coming here again and again, be it in jeans or fancy dresses and even flip flops too if i want to!

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For Christmas and NYE, Kinki’s menus are priced as follows:
24/12 Christmas Eve 3-course set dinner @ $128++ with a glass of wine
31/12 New Year’s Eve 3-course set dinner @ $168++ with a glass of champagne
 
Opening hours for both festive nights,
Kitchen opens from 6pm to 11pm (last order for food)
Bar Opens (restaurant and rooftop) from 6pm to 3am

(click here for menu!)

Kinki Restaurant and Bar
70 Collyer Quay
#02-02 Customs House
Singapore 049323

Tel: +65 6533 3471
Fax: +65 6533 3473

Web: http://www.kinki.com.sg

Thank you LeRoy (yes, it’s HungryCow!) & Ivy from FoodNews and Germaine from Refinery Concepts for this unforgettable dinner.

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