28 June, 2011

ADV: AsiaMalls Food On Parade - Cooking Grand Finals @ Liang Court

Friday was AsiaMalls, Food On Parade, cooking grand finals, and at stake was $2,000 worth of AsiaMalls shopping vouchers. Gathered at Liang Court atrium were 6 teams of contestants, each from Hougang Mall, Tiong Bahru Plaza, Century Square, Tampines 1, Liang Court and White Sands, and they were there with only one mission in mind - impressed the panel of judges - Miss Stephanie Ho, GM of AsiaMalls, Celebrity Chef Eric Teo and Chef Chang of Shin Yeh Restaurant.

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Crowds were gathering the stage by the time the mystery ingredients were revealed – and if one had been following the events that led up to the final cook-off, you probably knew that 1 mystery ingredient had been used in the contestants’ dishes. However to up the ante several notches for the finals, not 1 but 6 mystery ingredients were announced, of which 3 had to be included in any 2 dishes, and they are Sambal Prawn Chilli (Malaysia), X.O. Sauce (Hong Kong), Hsin Chu Rice Vermicelli (Taiwan), Rice Cake Slices (Korea), Miso Paste (Japan) and Tamarind Paste (Thai).

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There were moments of anxiety (most were back at their stations within 25 minutes after their groceries shopping) when team 5 from Liang Court was nowhere in sight – for if they so much as miss by half a minute, they would have to pack their bags and leave the contest!!! Fortunately, the mother-in-law and son-in-law combo rushed back on the dot. Phew! While there were some really creative dishes from the teams, Team 4 of Tampines 1 and Team 6 of White Sands whom HFB covered earlier here and here, did brilliantly with their repertoire of dishes.

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The young husband and wife team had choosen Sambal Chilli, XO Sauce and Miso Paste for their dishes of mushroom soup, aptly named Mushroomlicious, and a meat dish cooked 3-style (Miso Chicken, Sambal Chilli Pork wrapped with Cabbage, and XO Chicken) that they coined it “Fantastic Trail”.

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Although the judges weren’t thrilled with their really thick mushroom soup, Chef Eric was really impressed with the 2nd dish, especially the Miso Chicken! What an accolade!

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The mother and daughter team selected Sambal Chilli, Vermicelli, and Miso Paste as their secret ingredients and for starter, they created a Thai Vermicelli Prawn dish, while doing Chicken Maki as their main. While judges were mixed with their opinions, Chef Eric reckon it’s a good job done overall considering the situation and environment at the shopping mall – as it wasn’t an easy job whipping up two dishes within the time frame.

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While judges deliberated, the crowd was treated to a special Taiko Drums performance. The thunderous music of Taiko (Japanese drum) displays a medley of traditional and modern rhythms and moves, usually performed in an ensemble.

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So who won? It was the husband and wife team from Tampines 1 that HFB covered. Yay!!

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HFB had a great time covering this month’s AsiaMalls Food on Parade events. Till the next time, stay tuned!

Disclaimer: Photos provided by Pepperconn Pte Ltd.

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26 June, 2011

MEDZS @ Orchard Central - A Mediterranean Haven

Located in basement 2 of Orchard Central, one would discover a haven in the form of MEDZS, a 200-seater restaurant that was first to serve up various Mediterranean fare such as Spanish, Italian, Tunisian, Moroccan, French, Turkish and Greek − in a one-stop, self-service integrated open dining concept, providing a rather exotic dining experience.


HFB started off the evening with the Charcuterie Board over at the Delicatessen section that consisted of various cured meats including Chorizo and Serrano Ham, as well as an additional board of Jamon Iberico.


For $18 each, that was considered a steal considering the quality of meat one could savour. It really came packed with flavour and taste. Simply brilliant!


And to go along with the meats, HFB had a sneak peek of the beers among an impressive range of international and craft beers available over at the “5% bar” within the vicinity.


HFB has a weakness for good mussels, and he had to say he found another outstanding way to take pleasure in them – in Basil Alfredo sauce that is ($12.00). The sauce was velvety and flavoursome, and the mussels, with a hint of freshness of sea.


One can never go wrong with in-house made pasta, and when it’s accompanied with half a Thermidor Lobster and using Prawn Bisque as base sauce ($18.00) – a seasonal dish that is simply a match made-in-heaven! The sauce was really rich and flavourful, yet not heavy on the palate. Excellent, HFB highly recommended this dish!


The Shish Lamb Kebab ($6.00) came in a nice-charred flavour and the thickness of the meat ensured a nice bite when tasting the skewered meat. The accompaniments and seasonings also ensured a nice Mediterranean finishing.

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But HFB found his holy grail in the form of the Pork Belly ($10.00) done sous vide style and finished off with the grill. Nice charred exterior with a to-die-for inside, the meat achieved an OMG melt in your mouth experience that was so lovingly tender. HFB would definitely go back for this slab of sinful goodness!

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To round off the meal nicely is the Mille-feuille ($4.20 each), or layered puff pastry alternating with cream and in this instances fresh kiwi and strawberries.

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The puff pastry was really fluffy and the fruits made a nice refreshing end to clean off the palate.

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Disclaimer: No ratings would be given, as this is an invited taste test. HFB would also like to take this opportunity to thank MEDZS, Food Junction, Chef Mus, Pris and Racheal for their hospitality.

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20 June, 2011

ADV: AsiaMalls Food On Parade - Korean "Cooking Up A Storm" Preliminary

This weekend saw the preliminary round of “Cooking Up A Storm”, Korean cooking competition for Asia Malls, Food on Parade at Tampines1.

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With six teams lining up for this week’s challenge, to vie for the overall grand champion title on 25th June at Liang Court and the winning prize of $2000, HFB spotted quite a number of masculine in this round of the competition.

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And upon investigation, this pair of young handsome chaps were actually brothers, and in company with them, their elder brother and sis-in-law over at another team. Heh, talk about sibling rivalry!

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After a quick run-down by the organisers, and the revealing of the secret ingredient – Hot Pepper Paste, the contestants had a choice of shopping at Sol Mart Pte Ltd 솔마트, a Korean supermarket, or Cold Storage for their ingredients purchase.

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And while waiting for them, Chef Nicky Kim introduced to the shoppers a popular street food, Ho Tteok, or Sweet Korean Pancake during her short cooking demo.

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It was an interactive session where shoppers actually had hands-on session in mixing and kneading the dough.

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Before long, the pancake was pan-fried and served!

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HFB took a nibble and it revealed a nice cinnamon and caramel taste which he imagined to be perfect for Koreans during winter. Don't you think so?

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Shortly the contestants arrived back at the stage area before the stipulated time of 30 mins, and proceeded swiftly to prepare their creations.

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Besides the familiar Korean Rice Cakes and Glass Noodles, there were other really creative dishes like pasta inspired by Korean flavours and even “Bi Bim Ra” – an original interpretation of Bi Bim Bap, but using Korean Ramen noodles instead of rice. How brilliant!

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After presenting to the judges, and them tallying of scores, the results were finally announced and it really went to the wire – only 1 mark separated between the winning team and the other.

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Once again, having a lucky charm - this time in the form of a new born baby - brought blessings to the winning team.

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HFB is darn sure this young family would have a great time celebrating Father’s Day, as well as their win. Congrats!

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In conjunction with Food On Parade @ AsiaMalls promotion this holiday season, vote for your favourite F&B outlets to win attractive prizes! Find out more details here or login to Facebook and install AsiaMalls Best Food Awards App.

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ADV: AsiaMalls Food On Parade - Korean Masterclass at Tampines1

Something Korean was brewing at Tampines 1 on Friday – Korean Rice Cake that was, by MediaCorp artiste and Celebrity Chef Mdm Jin Yi Ji for Asia Malls, “Food on Parade” Korean Masterclass, and the stage was swarmed with crowd who came out in full support.

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It was so overwhelming that the management even had to bring out more chairs for the audiences.

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The crowd was truly won over by her sincerity and earnestness to share her philosophy on food, “I am not stingy when it comes to cooking, only when I see the person eats my food happily, will I then be happy”.

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In fact, it was said she woke up at 5am that morning to prepare the food in advance just so to ensure everyone who were present that day get to enjoy her food.

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Even at the Masterclass demostration, Mdm Jin took it upon herself to ensure everyone get a fair share of the rice cake by filling the pot to the brim, choke full of ingredients.

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The recipe is fairly easy, almost akin to eating steamboat – stirring in all the ingredients to the stock and with a quick sprinkle of sesame seeds and seaweed, TADAH – the rice cake is done!! Doesn’t it look wonderful?!

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The Korean Pan-fried Pancake was just as easy to master – mixed flour with potato (blend it into a puree) to get the thin pancake batter, add the various ingredients like seafood and vegetables (meat if one desired) and pan fry to golden brown.

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But the crowd were the obvious winner, as they get to sample the food and brought home with them the recipes.

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Following later in the afternoon, the kids were out to play in the Little Chefs Workshop conducted by Chef Nicky Kim who taught them how to roll Kimbap, or literally Rice and Seaweed, or Sushi, Korean style.

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HFB noticed the difference about the rice, which comes without vinegar but having sesame oil and sesame seeds instead. The ingredients were the usual suspects – carrot, yellow radish, egg, cucumber, tuna and crab stick.

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After a quick round of sanitising, some form of ‘bribery’ was dished out to the kids – sushi that was pre-made by Chef Nicky herself, to introduce the kids the dish they were attempting.

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The rolling of kimbap then commenced and HFB had to say, he was impressed with how fast the kids mastered the art of obtaining a nice, firm sushi that looked really yummy!

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Before long, each kid went back with 3 portions of the sushi and they looked really happy with their creation.

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Bravo to the kids!!

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