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photo courtesy of timeoutsingapore (JUST THIS PICTURE)

The first time i spotted this new kid on the block was when we were on the way for tuina (Chinese deep tissue massage) session at Club Street. We were parked right in front of it. Back then, i merely thought, hey.. nice vibe there but very empty!

A couple of days later, raves reviews were everywhere and i knew i gotta try it pronto.

When the girlfriend came over for a short leisure + business trip last week, she told me to pick a nice place for our brunch. Immediately, i thought of this sandwich + cocktail bar. I tried making reservation for two but guess what, they don’t take reservation (unless you’ve got more than 8 pax going) but because it was a Saturday, the kind lady assured me that there will be plenty of seats available and she was right.

from left, clockwise : toasted ciabatta and dips, bacon egg maple butter panini and pan seared lobster avocado yuzu mayo

Because i was teeny weeny late due to my morning housework chores with the boys, the famished gf ordered a starter – Toasted ciabatta with dips $12, while waiting for me. First bite into the toasted ciabatta and we were sold. We loved the bread. It was really good. Crusty and a little soft in the inside, the ciabatta was toasted to perfection. We happily dunk our breads into the dips which varies from figs jam to coriander pesto and toasted garlic!

Then, the star of the day arrived – Pan seared lobster, avocado, yuzu mayo panini $28. It was orgasmic. Both of us went, “MMmmmmmmMMmmmmmm“, so so many times! Hahahaaa! Everything went so well together! The juicy lobster (gawwddd.. it was drip drop drip drop as i sank my teeth in and the gf couldn’t stop giggling at messy me!), the yuzu mayo.. oh the yuzu mayo.. and the avocado.. The whole combi totally rocked my boat.

Next, our Bacon, egg and maple butter panini $14 arrived. It doesn’t look much but boy oh boy, it sure packs a punch. I totally dig the maple butter panini. I ditched the bacon, ate the egg and vacuumed up the bread when the smart ass gf cleverly left the bread aside because we, erm.. were too stuffed. I mean, look at the amount of bread we had!! It was crazy!

Social, i’ll be back, promise. I still haven’t tried your off menu Bread & Butter Pudding which Miss Chan, the friendly owner, recommended. It looked absolutely divine! (both our neighbours ordered it)

In total, we paid $63.15 for two persons’ brunch. Once a while, it’s OKay laaaaaa, yeah? ;P

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Social

5 Gemmill Lane
069261 Singapore

Website : www.clubstreetsocial.com

It was during my last year’s Shanghai trip when da real thang blew me away.

Before that, Dong Po Rou didn’t quite make an impression. In fact, i don’t remember eating any prior to the trip. Because i read so much about Shanghai’s Dong Po Rou, it was a die die must eat dish when we were there. The first time we had it was when the gf’s brother brought us to this fabulous restaurant at a rather hip area for a meal. I did most of the ordering (HEH!).. a few dishes were quite disastrous but gawwwwwddd, the Dong Po Rou totally kicked ass. Like totally, totally. Sweet, sticky, melt in your mouth… it was as though we were observing a moment of silence when we sank our teeth into the meat. It was so good! More on this for my travel post..

It has been a year since the trip — i so missed the girlfriends and all the fun we had! — and this post is dedicated specially to the girlfriends who were there with me through thick and thin. :)

Dong Po Rou 东坡肉 / Braised Pork Belly

serves 2

500g pork belly
1 thumb of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 sprig of scallion, chopped into 3 cm lengths
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tbsp rock sugar or brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2.5 cups lukewarm water
2 cups boiling water
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
peanut oil
1/3 cup shaoxing hua tiao wine
1 tsp cornstarch

Method:

1.  In a wok on medium heat, add peanut oil. Saute scallions, ginger and garlic for 2-3 mins until fragrant.
2. Add sugar and further saute until sugar starts to melt. Add soy sauce, dark soy and wine. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off heat and add lukewarm water. Set aside.
3. While sauce is coming to a boil, slice pork belly into rectangular portions about 2.5 inch x 4 inch pieces. Place pork belly pieces on a chopping board or a tray and scald them on all sides with boiling water.

4.  Place the pork pieces skin side down in a pan large enough to fit all the pieces together and add the earlier sauce mixture.

5. Bring to boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat to a low simmer and braise the pork for 30 mins, covered.
6. After 30 minutes, flip the pork belly pieces over so the skin is shown on top and continue braising covered for a minimum of 3 hours, basting the skin occasionally.
7. When ready, remove pork belly pieces gently and set aside. Strain remaining sauce into a saucepan and bring to a low simmer.
8. Mix cornstarch with 50ml of water and gently pour it into the sauce. Stir well until sauce becomes a shiny, sticky glaze. Turn off heat.
9. To serve, gently place a piece of braised pork belly onto a plate and spoon over the sauce. Serve immediately with warm steamed rice or steamed buns. Enjoy!

this is how you should eat it – further thicken the gravy and dress it up pretty and shiny!

(adapted from here)

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Note : i DOUBLED the recipe. I mean, since i’m already at it, might as well double it right? I cannot imagine braising this for 3 hours for 4-5 pieces of meat. Not worth it in my humble opinion but then, that’s just me. :P

So, how was the porky pork?

WE LOVED IT!

Though i didn’t manage to replicate the sticky sauce which i had in Shanghai, i’m not complaining. The pork was so so soft, and the fats.. of the fats, — no one should ever remove the fats when eating this. period. yeah, screw the cholesterol and whatnots — doesn’t need further elaboration i believe. Grin. This porky dish is insanely good and if you’ve guests who is pork belly crazy, be prepared for the WOW-ed guests. ;)

And yes, we polished off the entire 1kg of pork belly that night if you must know.

The first message i saw flashing on the phone’s screen was “Call me. Urgent!”, from the husband. Then, i had just finished my yoga class in the city. It was 1pm.

To my horror, the husband told me beep was already home and according to his usual time table, he was supposed to be home only at 3.30pm! Whatever happened to his enrichment class in school? Fortunately, the nice neighbour took him in after hearing beep’s cries near the corridor. It was a huge relief for me because that meant he was in good hands and i didn’t have weave in and out on the expressway at 130-140km/h. I’ve tried it once and i don’t think i wanna try it again. It was pure madness!

When i finally reached home and spoke to beep, he was all okay. Phew! No signs of distress or trauma or whatsoever . So, all was good.. or so i thought..

It turned out that it wasn’t beep who was traumatized by the incident after all. It was me.

That night, i had nightmare.

I dreamt that beep didn’t want me anymore. Instead, he found someone new. Or rather, a kind old couple, who lived a few blocks away. He decided to call it quit with me. HA! I coaxed him to return and stay with us again but he totally refused. I was sad. Very sad. The dream seemed too real. Each and every single of his expression was there. The eyes.. beep’s eyes, when he rejected me.. it said it all. It said, Go away, Mama. I don’t love you anymore.

So very painful.

Coming from my youngest darling baby who’s just 5 years old, what i felt then was beyond words. Guess i was so upset that i actually woke up and couldn’t sleep again.  I tried to enter the dream over and over and over and over again am but to no avail. It was 4ish in the morning. You see, i was hoping to go back into the dream and consciously make some changes so that the ending wouldn’t end this terribly.

But.

I couldn’t. Usually i could but not this dream and that scares me a tiny bit. Uh huh, it sounds almost like Inception the movie eh? But it’s true. Since young, i have been able to change my dreams according to how i want it once i realized it’s a dream. From horrifying super natural dreams to some funny and entertaining dreams, from a sad dream to a happy dream, i’ve done it all, provided i can enter that particular dream again that is. Once i make a few good changes, then the nature will take its course again.. usually, ending it the way i wanted it to end but not in my control anymore. I can’t control the entire dream.. otherwise, how to sleep well ah?!?! As for going into another dream in a dream, i’ve done it too. But never a dream in a dream in another dream. 2 levels is all i can manage.

So yeah, i certainly hope such incident will never happen again, to me or to anyone of you. It’s not fun at all.

Poor kiddo..

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