28 August 2010

FEI FEI WANTON NOODLES

'Fei Fei Wanton' is a nostalgic name to me as I grew up eating it in Joo Chiat.  The push-cart stall was set up by the grandfather who was a family friend of my paternal grandparents.  The stall was operated by father and daughter in the early stage and was eventually passed down to the daughter and grandsons when he passed away.   

The business was initially operated at the back of a eating house under a big tent which was hot and stuffy in Joo Chiat Walk, but has since shifted across the road at a coffee shop.


The noodles are hand-made which lack the bounciness and bite that I find as compared to the old days


There are countable pieces of wantons, char-siew and vegetables in the noodles  Overall the noodles is not palatable and the chilly sauce lacks the kick and hotness.   The noodles is really not up  to the mark.   I find the noodles at some of the franchise branches taste better.


The yong tau-fu are 'hakka' version, deep fried and eaten with sour-hot sauce.  The fish meat is bouncy and tasty & goes well with the sauce.  $4 for a plate of more than 10 different types is worth the choice.

22 August 2010

BEIJING NIGHT SCENE

Night slowly descended upon the capital of Beijing and it is only 4 o'clock in the evening, with temperature hovering at minus degrees. 




By 5 o'clock darkness took over the capital completely


Nothing better than hotpot meal.  Lamb hotpot is what Beijing is famous for in the winter.


Extra rice to fill hungry stomach


A stroll along the shopping district after a heavy meal to absorb the festive atmosphere


One of gigantic shopping malls




Modern Beijing celebrating Christmas






All bundled up



7-Star Hotel near Olympic Stadium

Olympic swimming pool light-up

All bundled up in this freezing night

21 August 2010

CHOYA JELLY


Potluck party - As a host I will usually prepare the main dishes and dessert.

300g agar agar powder
100ml water
100ml choya (plum wine)
150g castor sugar 

Boil water, choya and sugar together till sugar melted
Sprinkle in agar agar powder and stir till dissolve
Pour into mould and leave to cool
Decorate with plums

15 August 2010

POPIAH PARTY

There was a gathering on National Day eve for a popiah party at our place.  A day before the party had to cook the popiah fillings in order that the fillings taste better on the day itself.

Ingredients :
To shred 3kg turnips, 2 carrots, 1 marrow (use a mueslin cloth to squeeze out all the turnip juice)
Slice 1 packet of bamboo shoots finely (from NTUC)
Soak dried mushrooms (approx 10 pieces) and slice into thin slices
Soak 2 tablespoons dried shrimps and pound finely
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoon brown bean paste
6  garlics minced finely

Fry bean paste in hot oil follow by garlics and mushrooms till fragrant.  Add carrots and turnips till thoroughly mix.  Pour in chicken stock and add in 1 tablespoon mirin (use salt sparingly as bean paste is salty).  Cover and boil in slow fire till mixtures bubble, then add in marrow and bamboo shoots.  Stirring occasionally to prevent pot sticking.  When mixtures are soft boil for another 10 mins without opening pot cover.  Switch off fire and covered till next day.

On day of party, buy popiah skin (cover with wet cloth to prevent drying) and sauces, fry tau-kau, boil eggs, wash and prepare lettuce. 



Spread sauces (sweet and chilly) over lettuce instead to prevent soggy skin.  Top with minced garlic.








14 August 2010

LEKTHAI

We crossed over to Center Point and settled for Thai Food at Lek Thai.

Stir fry asparagus  -  crunchy and tender


Deep fried beancurd  -  careful at first bite as it was super hot


Pineapple rice @ only $4.50, promotional price when you order the fried fish


Whole fish - fried till crispy crunchy but tender flesh


Mango salad accompaniment for the fish.  Sourish and fiery hot - siok


Grill sotong - bouncy & qiu texture


Flavorful tanghoon with fresh springy prawns.  The tanghoon soaked up the prawn flavour


Sweet mango slices and soft tender glutinous rice with aromatic thick coconut cream


Beautiful bright ruby in coconut milk.  A failure as the starch disintegrate as you bite into the chestnuts which should be chewy and qiu.

Overall the lunch cost less than hundred dollars for 4 pax.  No complaint.

09 August 2010

WHERE TO EAT??

Golden opportunity to be given a half-day on Friday and had planned to go for lunch after work.  To meet up with one of the colleagues who was on leave at Orchard 33 MRT.  To browse around while waiting for her and decide where to eat.

Dessert Store


Wow, look at all the marvelous desserts


Assorted tempting cakes


Salivating but had to leave room for lunch


A good choice for lunch






Country-style kitchenette

Finally decided not to lunch here.  Where to....??

07 August 2010

HUTONG (胡 同)

One of the interesting scenes in Beijing is hutong, an ancient city alley or lane.  Most of the residents of these hutongs are descendants of imperial kinsmen and aristocrafts.  They are four houses built around a quadrangular courtyard and these quadrangles varied.  The stereotyped arrangement of the hutongs was affected by the changes of dynasties and the vicissitudes of life.  The social status of the residents also changed, reflecting the collapse of the feudal system.

The city of Beijing deteriorated and the conditions of the hutongs worsened.  Quadrangles previously owned by the one family became a compound occupied by many households.  As time passed the houses in many hutongs have been pulled down and replaced by modern buildings.  The hutongs today are fading into the shade for both tourists and inhabitants.  However, in the urban district of Beijing houses along hutongs still occupy one-third of the total area, providing housing for half the population, so many hutongs have survived.
 
The mode of transport to tour these hutongs are by rickshaws


Some areas around the hutongs are designated protected areas


Narrow lane - no car allow


Main door of the 四合院


Anecdotes with historic events


Bicycle is the only mode of transport within alley


Honeycomb briquet (black tiles) for warming the house and for cooking


A big mansion reduced to a quadrangle during communism


Resident beautify house with small decor


The owner, a Manchu, is happily showing her 'siheyuan' to tourists