Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mountain o' Ribs at o'Galito Restaurant

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"Portugese, Seafood and Sushi." Sort of an odd combination, isn't it? Almost every other restaurant I can think of serves generally only one 'type' of cuisine. You wouldn't go to a chinese restaurant expecting a medium-rare steak, for instance. In any case these are the three main 'cuisine' that o'Galita Restaurant specializes in, so I try and see whether too much variety means too many compromises!

One thing about Johannesburg is that the weather is lovely for sitting outdoors. Even at lunchtime it's only about 20degrees! Nice and sunny and yet cool at the same time = awesome. Not too cold to have a cold coke, too! (16 Rand)

The (complimentary) bun sets sky-high expectations - it's delicious! The crust is light and crispy without being tough, and the insides are tasty, and fluffy! Awesome bun, I was almost going to ask the waiter to cancel the rest of my order and just bring me another half dozen of the buns.

Onwards to the food, though! I decide to skip the traditional starter, and instead have an appetizer of sushi! One pair of salmon sushi (R42) and one pair of 'twins' sushi (R42). The sushi rice is just decent, and the salmon is a bit ... tough. The 'twins' sushi is quite interesting, though. It's sushi rice topped with tobiko (flying fish roe) and wrapped in tuna and salmon, and tastes pretty good! the tobiko provides a nice crunchy texture to the sushi.

For my main course, something catches my eye on the menu - the 1kg Portugese style Ribs (R165). It comes as literally a small mountain of heaped glorious pork ribs, with some veg and chips on the side. The taste is absolutely heavenly, and the waiters also bring along some peri-peri sauce for you to up the heat if you so wish. On the downside, though, I do think the meat was a tad bit on the dry side and perhaps slightly overcooked a little. Still tender enough to eat with your fingers, though! Didn't have to touch my knife the entire time.

Overall, for R265 (or about RM100), it isn't cheap, but food's pretty good! Sadly the mountain of ribs overwhelmed my stomach capacity so I couldn't try any of the desserts on the menu.

o'Galito is in the Benmore Gardens Mall, in the heart Johannesburg's Sandton suburb.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Creation of DANBO... A little art and craft world for photography purpose!

Wondering what is Danbo? It is a cute Japan's Yotsubato Danbo Amazon Robot made from cardboard. This character created by Azuma Kiyohiko, the writer of Yotsuba, once make it appear in the comic. Many photographers in the world nowadays are attracted to his unique expressions and he can posed easily to be reflected in all their photos.

Danbo mission accomplish

Check out this guy's photos of Dando!

Let me bring you along to how we created our own!

Step 1: Grab the following tools.
Danbo in the making

Step 2: Copy Paste the following link & print these 2 into A4 papers.
Danbo in the making

Step 3: Secure the paper & start cutting out the pieces.
Danbo in the making
Be careful and focus!
Danbo in the making

Step 4: Remember to number them up everytime you finish cutting out the piece.
Danbo in the making
Danbo in the making

Step 5: Fix up your Danbo with these 2 youtube video
How To : Make Your Own DANBO
How To : Make DANBO (Head & arm joints)

When all is done you can take pretty photos with Danbo~
Danbo mission accomplish

Have fun.....

Click here for our blog page Home Remedies & Art Crafts for more recipes and creativity juices. Hope you will be inspired~

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Steam Exploration ::: Steam Minced Pork with Tung Choy (Chinese Preserved Cabbage)

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Some how this dish has been one of my pick whenever I visit a mixed rice shop for lunch.

*Steam Minced Pork with Tung Choy (Chinese Preserved Cabbage)


250gms of Minced Pork

30g of Tung Choy(Chinese Preserved Cabbage)
3/4 tablespoon of Chinese Wine
1/3 teaspoon of Sugar

1/2 teaspoon of White Pepper

1 tbsp of Corn Starch
3/4 tbsp of Sesame Oil

1. Rinse the Tung Choy(Chinese Preserved Cabbage) twice & drain.
2. Place the Minced Pork, and mix it well with all the seasonings.
3. Add in the Tung Choy and mix till even out.
4. Flatten them in a deep bowl or plate.
4. Let it marinate for 30~40mins.
5. Place in a steamer for about 30mins. Interval of 10mins open and poke so steam can cook inside.

Enjoy this simple dish!

Click here for our blog page Cooking Classes for more recipes. Hope you will be inspired~

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Modern Pacific Cuisine" at Tao's Restaurant - PoMo

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If you advertise a set meal as a "6-course" or "7-course" set meal, and one of those courses is a choice of drink ... does it really count? I'll leave that for you to decide, though, as we bring you our thoughts on the 7-course set dinner at Tao's Modern Pacific Cuisine Restaurant for a very, very attractive price of just SGD29.90.

The concept is such. You pay one price, and there are 7 courses (or 6 food courses and a choice of drink). Some of these courses are fixed; others have several choices to choose from. Regardless of your choice, we're presented with an amuse-bouche-ish starter of something like a passion fruit granite.

1st Course (starter): Bacon and Mushroom Gratin, served with bread to lap up the saucy bacon-mushroom mixture.

2nd Course (salads): Fruit Salad and Prawn Roll & Pork Floss. I'm very disappointed in my fruit salad. It's got a mixture of mango, apple, and other fruits, but strangely topped by chopped minced crab fillet (i.e. crab-flavored fish fillet), which in my opinion just doesn't work. The darling's Prawn Roll looks something like a popiah and is much better, although I do feel it could have done with more generous proportions of filling.

3rd Course: Grilled King Oyster Mushroom & Sorbet. Google tells me that oyster mushrooms are so named because they "look, smell and taste like oysters." Really? I can't eat oysters at all but I had no problems polishing down this dish. If you like mushrooms you'll love this ... if you don't, well, I'm sure one of your dining companions will gladly take it off your hands.

4th Course (drinks): Iced rose apple tea and Iced summer peach tea. Both of these teas were delightful. Apple tea was a little on the sweet side (perfect if you've got a sweet tooth) though, and I'm not sure why the drinks only came halfway through our meal.

5th Course (soup): Japanese Fish Consomme and Cream of Mushroom. The Consomme was nice and clear, if a bit lacking in any sort of fish flavor. Cream of mushroom: again, depends if you like mushrooms or not. It's very strong on the 'mushroom' and very weak on the 'cream,' which is great, no Campbell's mushroom-flavored-cream here!

6th Course (main entrees): Slow Cooked Pork Back Ribs and Marinated Rack of Lamb. I totally loved my ribs. Tender, juicy, and with a great tangy sauce. Top marks. Lamb was also nice and flavorful but I prefer my red meats to be medium-rare or medium; this one came almost well done.

7th Course (desserts): Tiramisu and Crème Brûlée. Nothing spectacular for either of these desserts, to be honest. The Tiramisu is run-of-the-mill and suffers a bit from being non-alcoholic, and we thought the crème brûlée tasted a bit off. The caramelized sugar coating was thick and hard, too!

Conclusion, there were a few good dishes and a few mediocre ones. I wouldn't classify the dishes as particularly gourmet or fine-dining level, but the low price scores it top marks for value for money - where else can you get a 7-course degustation-like menu for SGD30? Worth at least a try so you can decide if this cuisine is for you.

Tao is in PoMo, which is 'behind' the Cathay cineplex near Dhoby Ghaut MRT station. Reservations are needed for weeknights.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tour the Tsukiji Fish Market on Yahoo! Travel Malaysia!

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Our next blogpost is up on the IMasTravel and Yahoo! website! In today's post we take you on a tour of the Tsukiji Fish Market, which is one of the biggest fish markets in the world! Do click on the link, it'll definitely be worth your time - and leave us some comments if you liked the story!

Is this Product good? ::: Secret to make KFC Chicken Nuggets!

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Mine & dear’s love KFC Chicken Nuggets and sometimes go gaga over them & just order 20s + 6s for our dinner instead of going for their Dinner Plate or Snack Plate. You know how expensive it is, right?

I remember the last time I had KFC Chicken nuggets, when dear’s sister brought back a Kid’s Meal – Chicken Nuggets… It tasted “yucks” changed… Since then I have not eat KFC Chicken Nuggets.

Now I found the recipe, that we both do agree it tasted pretty like the KFC Chicken Nuggets!

*Chicken Breast Nuggets

What you Need… only 3 things…
1. 350g Chicken Breast
2. 500ml Cooking Oil
3. And the secret is this! NAGO’s Hot & Spicy Kentucky Tepung Perasa Serbaguna

There are plenty on the rack which I do not remember when I’m small and shopping with mommy, I only remember there is only ONE brand… so let me try them one by one… for now we are trying this!

*Chicken Breast Nuggets

Cooking Time~
Step 1: Slice the Chicken Breast 8mm thick. (I don’t really care about the weird shape! XD )
Step 2: Pour the NAGO’s Hot & Spicy Kentucky Flour in a bowl.
Step 3: Place the Sliced Chicken Breast in the bowl and make sure they’re dusted all over and then give it a little shake to let the loose flour drop off and place it on a fresh plate.
Step 4: Heat Cooking Oil till chopstick have bubbles then it’s at the right heat.
Step 5: One by One place the Chicken in. Do not crowd the pot. Do not put it too close to each other so it won’t stick. Put in for 2mins & take it out placing it on a kitchen towel to drain. Place it nicely batch by batch, part by part.
Step 6: Do it till all are cooked. – WAIT WAIT…IT’S NOT DONE YET….
Step 7: Replace batch 1 back into the cooking oil for another 1min. This will create a crispy think layer on the Chicken Nuggets!
Step 8: When all is done is done! Let it rest for 5mins before serving..with or without Tomato and Chilli Sauce.

*Chicken Breast Nuggets

Prefect for Party and Perfect for any occasions ~ Why buy instant nuggets when these are more healthy!

The slight spiciness is perfect for me but sorry for all of you chilli lovers & expects your nuggets to be spicy base on the box advertisement...

Click here for our blog page Cooking Classes for more recipes. Hope you will be inspired~

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Possibly the Best Value Sashimi in Singapore - Fish Mart SAKURAYA!

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The more budget-conscious sushi and sashimi-eaters/lovers among us will undoubtedly know that the best possible value you can get is to buy a chunk of sashimi-grade fish at Jusco, Cold Storage, and take it home to eat. That's a lot of hassle, though, but it's the price we have to pay for stretching our dollar (or ringgit) as far as it will go.

Or is it? What if there was a shop where you could buy a chunk of fish at the same prices, hand it to the cook staff/chefs for them to slice it for you to eat there and then?

That's exactly the concept behind Fish Market SAKURAYA in Parkway Parade. The outer half of the shoplot is a Japanese grocery store, and the inner half is a restaurant! We picked out this $15 block of salmon, and it comes to our table in 11 big chunky slices. Awesome!

They've got a pretty big variety, too - salmon, tuna, kanpachi (yellow tail), squid, octopus, tai (sea bream), and even oh- and chuu- toros! It's not only just sashimi, they also do a decent variety of sushi and various 丼's (rice bowls). We pig out on an order of 大トロ (fatty tuna belly) sushi for SGD15. The fish is creamy and oily, but not as melt-in-the-mouth as the one we had in Daiwa Sushi.

Unagi, Tamago and Inari sushi's ($8 total). Pretty standard sushi fare - though we did think that the sushi rice was a bit off balance due to having way too much sushi vinegar.

Unagidon was SGD13 and was just 'okay' on the serving size. I didn't appreciate that they used vinegar'ed rice instead of just plain rice - by the time I polished off the bowl I was close to vinegar overload.

Conclusion? The sushi and other food here is decently priced but nothing to shout about taste-wise. However, the sashimi is unbeatable for its' quality and value for money - they don't add any service charge onto the sticker price, and huge, huge plus points for having toro (tuna belly) which I haven't been able to find at any other supermarket or Japanese food/fish market in Singapore.

Fish Market SAKURAYA is in Parkway Parade. If you don't have a car and don't want to take a cab, the easiest way would probably be to take the MRT to Bedok. Exit at Bedok South and wait at the bus stand - there's a free shuttle bus that takes you there every 20 minutes on weekends only.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Japanese Cuisine Exploration ::: Unagi Don うなぎドン

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*Unagi Rice Don

Hahaha… this I will cheat a little! Unagi is not cooked by me… :P
Head down to Cold Storage or Jusco or anywhere that sells Cooked Unagi (advance from the counter that fresh ones can last for 2-3days)

Here is how to handle & cook prefect Japanese Rice!
1.5 cups of Japanese Rice
½ Fine Salt
¼ Fine Sugar
Filter Water
Nicely designed Japanese Cucumbers (mine is my own version of “Sakura” flower) XD

Step 1: Lightly stir & wash Japanese Rice with sift under tap water for 1-2mins.
Step 2: Soak the rice in filtered water for 30mins.
Step 3: Remove water. Add filter water in to about 5mm height of your finger tip. Put in Rice Cooker and turn on the cook button.
Step 4: 5mins down the cooking lane. Open the lid and sprinkle the Salt & Sugar. This is my lazy way of dissolving them without taking a pan out & put it over a fire.
Step 5: Immediately after Step 4, place the Unagi in a Plate & pour the proved sauce over it. Place it on top of the Rice Cooker to warm it up. This is a very good way to save electricity and also save time.
Step 6: When the Rice Cooker pops, dish out the rice immediately as we do not want them to stick too much to the bottom of the pot.
Step 7: Mix well. Do the chop chop method (laughs, hahahhaha) to loosen up the rice. Add some Sushi Vinegar to your liking, I did not put any for my unagi don.
Step 8: Scoop & fill the rice in bowls or Bentos. Place the unagi on top, drizzle it with the sauce. Put the cute little designed Japanese Cucumber Flowers at the side & serve while HOT~

love it…eating it the cheap way~

Click here for our blog page Cooking Classes for more recipes. Hope you will be inspired~

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Side Dish Exploration ::: Korean Sweet Anchovies with Cucumber

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My favorite Korean side dish that I always ask for refill… there are few more… wait for me to explore & I’ll definitely share with all of you… for now is SWEET ANCHOVIES with CUCUMBERS

*Korean Appetizer - Sweet Ikan Bilis with Cucumber

Ingredients needed:::
1 tablespoon of Cooking Oil (Halal style) / 1 teaspoon of Lard (Non-Halal style)
Hand Full of Baby Anchovies
Half Hand Full of diced Japanese Cucumber
1 teaspoon of Fine Sugar


Turn up the heat to Medium to warm up the pan and add in the Cooking Oil/Lard.
Throw in the Baby Anchovies to cook till lightly golden then add in the diced Japanese Cucumber & Fine Sugar. Stir till all sugar melt which will be just in time when the Baby Anchovies are golden and the cucumber as slightly cooked, I love my cucumber crispy!

Dish out to serve~ Enjoy… <3

Click here for our blog page Cooking Classes for more recipes. Hope you will be inspired~

Monday, September 5, 2011

Awesome(er?) Sushi at Daiwa (大和寿司), Tsukiji, Tokyo!

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When you go to Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market, it's a given that you'll have breakfast at one of the many sushi restaurants there. And of all the restaurants, two of them stand head-and-shoulders above the rest. The first is Sushi Dai, which we queued an hour and a half for (and reviewed a few days ago). We were so awestruck that we just had to go back again to try the other place - Daiwa Sushi (大和寿司)!

The queue is much, much shorter, and upon queue'ing we find out the first reason - Daiwa Sushi has 6 itamae's, or sushi chefs in two shoplot/restaurants, and so can serve twice as many people. The second reason being that they serve you the sushi at a much faster rate, so you subconsciously eat faster.

The mission is the same - go in, greet the chef, and yell おまかせ (I leave it to you)! We're again started off with green tea and an omelette, after which the chefs start laying the sushi on our (wooden) plates! We start off with Ootoro (Fatty Tuna Belly), Ika (Squid) and Uni (Sea Urchin):

Then comes the Squid, Red Snapper, and a tuna-and-salmon-roe roll:

And we finish off with Chuutoro (Not-So-Fatty Tuna Belly) and Anago (Sea Eel).

You'll immediately notice that Daiwa Sushi's おまかせ only serves you 7 pieces of nigiri and one roll (compared against 11 nigiri and one roll for Sushi Dai). Sushi Dai also has more 'imaginative' offerings (e.g. salt on the snapper, and marinated Maguro), and the chefs and waitresses were friendlier overall. However, we felt that the fish serving size and taste/quality at Daiwa was slightly better than Sushi Dai, and having twice the number of sushi chefs means you do queue half as long. In summary:

In this head to head battle, our recommendation is to go for Sushi Dai if you can afford the 1.5-2.0 hour wait. However if you're a little pressed for time, Daiwa Sushi gives you slightly better sushi and a way shorter queue, at the expense of value for money and service/hospitality. In any case you won't go wrong with either place, and if you're a sushi lover and ever find yourself in Tokyo you owe it to yourself to take a trip down here at least once!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Awesome Fresh Sushi at Sushi Dai, Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market!

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Here's the diary of our trip to the Tsukiji Fish Market ... and of the awesome Sushi breakfast we had at Sushi Dai (寿司大)!

6:25am: We join the queue that snakes around the side of the building, full of anticipation! Here's the darling giving the victory (or peace) sign. Cos you know, we're in Japan, so we need to act like the locals.

7:15am: We've managed to reach the main queue in front of the restaurant! Still quite a few people ahead of us, though.

7:40am: Almost there! We're now in the front row, and it's almost our turn to get in! From here we see why the queue moves so slowly - the place can only seat about a dozen people. There are three itamae's (板前), or sushi chefs, who speak good enough English to engage in casual conversation with those of us "英語でお願いします" (English please) types.

7:55am: We're seated! Time to find out if the one-and-a-half hour wait was worth it! We order the おまかせ set. It literally means "I leave it to you," and is used in restaurants to tell the chef to feed you whatever he thinks is best. Something like the equivalent of the French degustation, I suppose.

The set starts off with green tea, fish-infused miso soup, and a 2-inch high egg omelette. I have no idea what ingredients are used in the omelette or how they cook it, but it was delicious, and a perfect teaser to the upcoming sushi!

Onwards then! What pleasantly surprised us is that rather than coming all on one plate, the itamaes place each piece of sushi on the counter in front of you as it is made. Not only that, I do feel that they also time their making of the sushi to how fast (or slow) you eat, so you never have more than one or two pieces at any one time. All this for maximum freshness!

How fresh? Well, our ホッキ貝 (surf clam) sushi was still alive and moving when it was placed in front of us. Can't get any fresher than that! Without further ado ... pictures of the sushi!

That rounds up the 10 nigiri-zushi and one maki-zushi from the chef. As a プレゼント (bonus), you get to choose one final piece from anything on the menu! We are tempted to order more 大トロ (fatty tuna) but decide to try something else:

8:40am: We pay the 3,900¥ (sgd61/myr150) and leave the restaurant to explore the rest of the Tsukiji Fish Market, stomachs happily bloated!

Our favorites: The Ootoro (fatty tuna) and Maguro (Tuna).
Our not-so-favorites: The Hokkigai (surf clam) and Baby Shrimp.

Overall this is the best sushi meal we've ever had, and makes us worry about how we're ever going to eat sushi back here in Malaysia/Singapore again. The service was sublime - the waitresses and chefs were friendly, talked to us and cracked jokes to the other diners. Sushi, too, was perfect - apart from having possibly the freshest possible fish (seeing as it's in the middle of the largest fish market in the world) - the chef's season each individual piece the way they want it to taste. From dabbing salt on the snapper, to marinating the tuna with soy sauce and wasabi, once it's in front of you, you can just grab it and put it in your mouth without needing to worry about it falling apart when you're dipping it into your sauce plate.

Sushi Dai is in the row of shops/restaurants inside the tsukiji fish market. If you come here in the summer, make sure you come here early otherwise you queue in the hot sun. It's easy to find - just look around for two restaurants with huge queues - sushi dai is the one with the longer queue. The other restaurant is Daiwa Sushi, which we also ate at. Click here for our review of Daiwa and which restaurant we thought was the better one!