Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cordy's Day Off 2017 : Yunomori Onsen & Evening Tea At Fullerton Bay Landing Point

2016 till 2017 May was a stressful period for me as I saw through that my project was implemented successfully. Once that was over with, I took some time off for myself. And when I mean myself, I mean really by my self. With no friends for the whole day (except for evening drinks and tea). So where did I went? Yunomori Onsen at Kallang Mall! The above picture is of me relaxing in the lounge after a nice soak.

I've always love onsen, from the very first time I step into my first one, and every trip I ever made to Japan (except one.....). Anyway, my colleagues and I bought 6 entry coupons for the price of 5, and we each took two. I used mine on this wonderful day, and still have the other to use on the second half of the year. It cost maybe SGD24 per entry using the coupon. I went at 1030am, and the walk in was lovely as the sky was blue, and it was by the Kallang river that I even took a few nice photos to post on Facebook. After that, I went in, check myself in and had a very relaxing time instead. I even fell asleep at the lounge. Basically I spend one hour at the bath, one hour in the lounge, and went for lunch, and stayed at the cafe with my laptop till 4pm before I went for my 2nd bath and left around 5pm. It was lovely! I pack my book, my headphones, my laptop, my favourite perfume/skincare, and just spend some "me" time alone the whole day there! Can't wait to use my other coupon soon since its' already July!

I had my lunch there, and the cafe wasn't really crowded as I went on a weekday (even though it was school holiday). I ordered karaege curry chicken, and it was the most delicious curry chicken ever! I truly love it cause they even leave the chicken skin on each piece of fried chicken. The curry was also nice and thick! The meal probably cost less that SGD12. I highly recommend this!

Next stop was Fullerton Bay Hotel to meet my ex-colleague for evening tea at the Landing Point. I cannot stop raving about this place. I was just there a few weeks back with my mum, and the service was most excellent! From the phone call to make a reservation, to the time we paid our bills, I would recommend this place without a doubt to everyone! Plus, both time, I was there for a 1-4-1 UOB card promotion of their evening tea (SGD53 for two person total), and that was also fabulous! The only complaint I have is their orange juice which tasted like fermented juice from my home.
Anyway, above is my favourite part of the evening tea. Cocktails! You get to order one per person, and they are so delicious! When I went with my mum, she gave me hers, and I was tipsy the whole evening! I thought having cocktail was the winning touch to this evening tea. Apart from that, their drink selection was also extensive, from tea, coffee, juice, soda, and even affogato (which just means free ice cream to me!). The tea set which comes in 3 tier was also refillable, and have things like truffle flavoured mushroom pies, cream cheese wrapped in parma ham, smoked salmon etc....5 stars! 10 out of 10! I mean, I went there TWICE within a span of one month!

Here's a photo which my excolleague/friend/meimei snap of me which I really like. I would without a doubt, go again if they have another round of offer. The ambiance, the service, the food, the drinks, everything was GREAT! Keep up the good work Fullerton Bay! You are my number one hotel in Singapore!

Yunomori Onsen
Fullerton Bay Evening Tea @ Landing Point

Italian Seafood Day - Clam Spaghetti and Squid Risotto

Ever since coming back from Italy,  I have been spending my weekend trying to create Italian food at home. Mainly because I wanted to cut down on going to the restaurant cause they are expensive, and also, cooking at home also gives you the freedom and control on how you prepare your food. The only down side is cleaning the kitchen after that. But if you compare it with the cost of a meal in the restaurant vs 10 - 15 mins of dish washing, it really isn't that bad if you want to save money.

Actually, all I wanted was to cook squid risotto, but when I went to the market to look at the seafood, I couldn't help asking the aunty how much clams cost. At SGD$3+ per kg, I ask her for 1kg just to try since I've never actually cooked clam before. I don't know why, I have a craving for clam cooked in garlic. Anyway, I came home with half a kg of prawns for SGD8, one squid and half a kg of clam for another total of SG4. So grant total of SGD12 for all the seafood. I also grab SGD0.50 cent worth of spring unions cause I'm a spring onion junkie.

So here are the ingredient for the first one: Clams, Spaghetti, oil to fry and fragrant the shallots, garlic and dry chilli, and spring onion. I didn't use any of the truffle flavouring as the end product was already tasty by itself, so I skipped it. Even the parmesan cheese was just there for decorative purposes as I didn't really needed it. Oh yeah, I did add some miso paste to it for flavour. I've been addicted to miso mushroom spaghetti recently and thought I'll just add some. And Oh yeah, I also add some Chinese wine cause I don't have ang moh wine at home....

Cooking was rather straight forward: Heat pan, add oil. Stir fry the garlic, chilli and shallot. After which I dump in the clams, and add some spaghetti water. Wait a while till most of the clams are open, then add spring onion and cooked spaghetti and stir around a while. Voila. Done. Transfer to a serving plate that has half a tea spoon of miso paste in it and mix. Add parmesan cheese if required. 

Done! Beautiful isn't it. It's going to be hard for me to order clams in a restaurant again knowing how cheap I can get them from the market. You do have to wash them throughly. Just soak them in water, sprinkle some salt, and change the water once or twice. 

I serve these for lunch today, a light lunch as I was headed to the gym. I also pair it with rose flavoured wheat beer. Lovely. This meal probably cost lest than SGD5 to make, and it serves 2 person! It probably cost SGD10 at least in a restaurant for one plate! And it may not be as healthy or tasty!

Next for dinner is squid risotto! I've always thought risotto was difficult to make before, until I went to Italy and saw instant risotto packaging, and I've hardly ever order it in a restaurant after that again. 
So here are the ingredient for dinner: One Risotto Instant Pack (this one cost me more, around EURO4), 1 Squid, Spring Onions, some butter, and that is it.  I have prawns here just for extra snacking. 
Again cooking was rather straight forward: Heat pan, add oil, add risotto mix and stir fry for one minute. Add Squid and fry. Add half a cup of water and fry till water evaporate, then add 700ml of water and let it cook for at least 15 minutes. Add in spring onions at the last 5 minutes, and also some butter to taste. Again, parmesan is optional to taste. 

I  also baked some prawns for 30 mins, the last 10 minutes mainly to brown the top part of it. Aren't the colors just beautiful? If there are extra juice from the prawn after you bake them, throw them into the risotto and mix it, yummy!

So below is the end result: Squid Risotto!

And I pair it with pear cider for dinner! This meal is more expensive mainly due to the prawns. But still more affordable than dining in a restaurant! Plus, I get all my alchohol duty free whenever I come back from business trip. We also share one bottle for each meal cause, well, alcohol and health.... This was probably my 3rd drink of the day! I also had a Yuzu Choya for breakfast.....

Anyway, hope you enjoy reading this post. I really enjoyed creating it! Especially the cooking part, the taking photos part, especially the eating part, and now the posting part. Best of all is, it will forever be on my blog and I can always look back with happy memories of these wonderful meals that I've created. These are the simple things I enjoy in my life. It doesn't really cost that much, and they bring me so much joy! I hope to do more of these as I settle into my retirement life mode :)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

A Little Taste of Travel - Vietnamese Coffee and Truffle Honey Toast

Have been travelling non-stop since end of April 2017: first to Taipei for production support, then to Vietnam for workshop, and just came back from Italy for an opera trip. Well today is the first leisure Sunday I have since I got back. So I decided to enjoy it at home, doing the things I love: making things, creating things :)
I started off the morning making Vietnamese drip coffee. The coffee in Vietnam was amazing while I was there. It was thick and strong, and elegant in their preparation. So I got myself a drip coffee set, with a Vietnamese pottery cup as well as a souvenir, and decided to try making it this morning. 

I followed the instruction to the tee, and wasn't getting my hopes too high up as my colleagues already told me he couldn't get the taste he wanted. But me being me, measure everything as per instructed, and waited 6 minutes for it to drip down to the beautiful cup. This resulted in only half a cup. But when I took a look and saw the thick colour of the black coffee, I was already pleased with myself. Taste wise, it didn't disappoint either, although it was a bit bitter than I expected (probably because I just came back from Italy where the coffee was just so creamy and delicious). Anyway, it was thick and strong, and after drinking it first thing in the morning, I could feel my blood pumping, and my stomach fats and left over food melting away! Oh yeah, I had that cup of coffee on an empty stomach first thing in the morning! And it was Wow! 

So that was Good Morning Vietnam!

In the evening, I decided to have a light dinner, and I made toast with truffle honey. I fell in love with truffle honey when I first tasted it in an Italian buffet in Regency Hotel Singapore. Why this goes undiscovered myself for the first 40 years of my life is beyond me! In fact, my recent trip to Italy was more or less a truffle hunting trip. And today was the first time I tried the produce I bought back. It was fragrant, and lovely. Light, and sweet, and simple. So much love.

I'll be on a look out for truffle recipe. I've got a bag of potatoes in my kitchen just waiting to be turn into truffle fries. I got bottles of truffle oil, truffle balsamic, and truffle glaze. I wish I could stay home one whole month doing nothing but cook everyday. I would love that so much! But until I retire from work, I guess that's kinda hard to do. So I'm just going to enjoy my little weekend of small awesomeness.

All these happens at the right and wrong time. I needed the above to pull though the depressing feeling that I have been having since I came back from Vietnam. Action, is the antidote to despair. I will keep myself busy and pull through this!