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inaugural issue • LIFE’S PLEASURES, MADE SIMPLE • iT’S FREE www.thefoodjournal.com.sg

P10 Chop Chop: Protein Overload

P14 10 Recipes For An Ab Fab Chinese New Year Feast Chefs reveal all in Yin Yang Festivities!

P28 The Secret Life Of Chef Emmanual Stroobant: We snoop around his apartment!


Contents

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• LIFE’S PLEASURES, MADE SIMPLE •

www.thefoodjournal.com.sg

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Publisher Jasmine J. Goh jasmine@redtreegroup.org EDITORIAL Editor Mary Lim | mary@redtreegroup.org Associate Editor Jasmine Tham | jasminetham@redtreegroup.org SALES Business Director Joey Tan | joey@redtreegroup.org Sales & Marketing Executive Tasha N. Sim | tasha@redtreegroup.org DESIGN Art Directors SH and Han | han@redtreegroup.org

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1 Spotlight

A round up of sumptuous spring delicacies for dine-in and takeaway

6 Signature

It’s all about home cooked and nutritious flavours with Restaurant HOME’s Chef Tan Yong Hua

Contributors Chef Heman Tan, Chef Chai Po Loh, HB Photography, Ivan Joshua Loh, Soo Ee Lee, Wani Azahar FOR ENQUIRIES, E-MAIL US Information | info@redtreegroup.org Advertising Sales | joey@redtreegroup.org Tel: 6295 0810

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22 Hot Picks

Worthy spends for the home and pantry

28 Living

A day in the home of Singapore’s most prolific chef, Emmanuel Stroobant

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Culture – Design

8 Insider

Inspired and eclectic local pieces to add on to daily living

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Culture – Travel

Three years on and against the initial odds, ToTT is steadily achieving its vision as an integrated concept for cooking, baking and hosting

10 Dining Out

What’s new and now on our sunny island

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Seasoned to Taste

Western-inspired Chinese New Year recipes for an alternative celebration

Distributed and circulated by Region Periodicals Distributor Pte Ltd. Printed by Colourscan Co. Pte Ltd. The Food Journal is available at leading restaurants, cafes, hotels, salons, MRT stations and stores.

Plan ahead with travel resolutions for the New Year

36 THE Food journal directory

THE FOOD JOURNAL is published by RedTree Group Pte Ltd. MICA (P) 088/12/2013. Copyright is held by the publisher. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. The views expressed in The Food Journal are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by The Food Journal. The Food Journal welcomes new contributions but assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials.

A to-visit list of retail, cafes, restaurants and hotels, from under the radar gems to celebrated eateries.

REDTREE GROUP PTE LTD 30 Kallang Place #07-22, Singapore 339159 Tel: 6295 0810 Fax: 6295 0709 www.redtreegroup.org


Spotlight

Springtime Delicacies

Dine-in or takeaway, we round up the town’s best menus and latest signature items for the celebrations. Wan Hao CHINESE RESTAURANT This year, Marriott Singapore’s Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant brings new spins and signature treats to its menu including a Barbecued Whole Suckling Pig imported from Hunan that’s roasted to juicy and tender perfection, complete with crisp skin, together with an unlikely but delightful combination of rich durian and chocolate mousse cake. Dine-In Highlights: Nan Ru style Barbecued Whole Boneless Suckling Pig and the newly introduced Double Boiled Supreme Bird’s Nest in Whole Chicken, as part of set menus suited for one to 10 diners, from $98 onwards. When: 1 Jan to 14 Feb Tel: 6831 4605 Takeaways: Barbecued Whole Suckling Pig ($298 each), Wan Hao Deluxe Abalone Pen Cai (from $368 for six persons) and Wan Hao Premium Vegetarian Pen Cai (from $288 for six persons). And for sweets, the Durian Chocolate Cake ($68). When: 10 to 29 Jan, 11am to 9pm daily Where: Forecourt Stall (located at the hotel’s entrance) Tel: 6831 4708

Man Fu Yuan

In keeping with tradition and occasion, Man Fu Yuan at InterContinental Singapore offers specialty dishes amd reunion menus steeped in symbolism of the occasion, with themes of prosperity, longevity and happiness woven into each dish. Dine-In Highlights: The Deluxe Treasure Pot Set that includes the signature Poon Choi, Prosperous Yu Sheng, Steamed Sea Perch, Panfried Tiger Prawns and Eight Treasures Tea with Glutinous Rice Dumpling, from $108 per person for a six course vegetarian set, and $118 to $668 per person for a six course set menu. When: 17 Jan to 14 Feb Tel: 6825 1062 / 6825 1059 Takeaways: The signature Double-boiled “Fu Zhou” Buddha Jump Over the Wall Broth, Wok-fried Glutinous Rice and Yu Sheng Set ($688, serves five), the Stuffed Glutinous Rice in Whole Suckling Pig ($488, serves five) and a newly created Golden Custard Pastry filled with rich duck eggs-based custard filling encased in a delicate pastry ($38.80 for eight pieces). When: 27 Dec to 14 Feb for the set and suckling pig; 27 Dec to 24 Jan for the Golden Custard Pastry. Where: Visit the Tea Hut located at the entrance of InterContinental Hotel for the pastry and for the rest, email sinhbfestive@ihg.com or visit facebook.com/ ICSingapore to purchase online

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Spotlight

Min Jiang

This Sichuan and Cantonese restaurant at Goodwood Park Hotel Singapore presents a lavish dining concept with a delectable new lineup of Prosperity Savouries and sweet Lunar New Year Goodies. Dine-In Highlights: Prosperity Savouries that include the Bountiful Treasures Claypot and Braised Chicken with Sea Treasures in Claypot. Dine-in set menus for festive feasting at both lauded restaurants are priced at $98 and $118

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per person, with a minimum two persons), and range from $788 to $1688 per table of ten persons. Prosperity Yu Sheng comes included with the set menus. When: 14 Jan to 14 Feb Tel: 6730 1704 (Min Jiang at Goodwood Park Hotel Singapore) / 6774 0122 (Min Jiang at One-North) Takeaways: A Festive Treasures takeaway menu, inclusive of the Prosperity Yu Sheng, is available at $498, for six persons. For the sweet of tooth, there’s the Fortune of Gold ($80 for 1kg), an exquisite confection that’s edible right down to the string; made with passion fruit and apricot pound cake, and covered with icing. There’s also the Lucky Orange Delight ($80 for 1kg), a giant version of the mandarin fruit, made from orange pound cake and opens up to reveal eight chocolate mandarin oranges. When: 14 Jan to 14 Feb for Festive Treasures set; and 10 Jan to 14 Feb, for the cakes. Where: Call Min Jiang or Min Jiang at One-North for the Festive Treasure set, and The Deli for the cakes. Advance order of three working days required, and the last order date is 11 Feb at 12 noon. Tel: 6730 1786 (Deli)

Sichuan Dou Hua

Drawing inspiration from the Year of the Horse, the restaurant presents a harmonious array of dishes with a play on names and ingredients like chestnuts (which has the Chinese character for “horse” in its name). We also liked that at the adjoining Tian Fu Tea Room, it offers a Reunion Imperial High Tea ($32) that’s just perfect for smaller groups, along with a yu sheng lo hei, nian gao and eight varieties of dim sum paired with teas. Dine-in Highlights: Known for poetic creations, Sichuan Dou Hua conjured up a braised pork knuckle dish inspired by a galloping horse in a Chinese painting. The Braised Pork Knuckles ($48) is slowcooked in fragrant wine to seal in the rich flavours and served with nourishing

red dates and water chestnuts. Another dish not to miss is the Yu Sheng rendition with black truffle and fresh turbot ($98) and Pi Pa suckling pig ($258) drizzled with goose liver sauce. For dessert, there’s the creative nian gao ($28.80) layered with glutinous rice pearls, sugar cane and water chestnuts for texture. Takeaways: A Lunar New Year Takeaway Set comprising a four-course menu, including dessert, is also available from $380 (four to six persons). When: 6 Jan to 14 Feb for dine-in and takeaways. Tel: 6505 5722 (Parkroyal on Beach Road) / 6428 3170 (Parkroyal on Kitchener Road) / 6535 6006 (Top of UOB Plaza)


Spotlight Prima Tower

Having been in the business for 36 years, this revolving restaurant at Keppel Road embodies quality Cantonese cuisine, made perfect under the deft hands of Hong Kong Master Chef Chan Sung Og. Gather the family this year for his Superior Treasures Fortune Pot in Peking Style ($728 for 10 persons), brimming with premium goodies such as five-head abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw, pig’s tendon, roast pork, prawns, dried oyster and conpoy. Another favourite that has guests returning for seconds, the Sautéed Bird’s Nest with Egg White (from $70). There’s also the Authentic Barbecued Peking Duck ($70), an impeccable combination of mouthwatering slices of crispy skin and roasted tender lean meat, and refreshing cucumber slices, served with a special homemade sauce and lightly wrapped in a thin Chinese pancake. Finally, there’s Prosperity Yu Sheng (from $58) which consists of peanuts, sesame seeds, ‘pok chui’ biscuits, shredded white and green radish, carrot, strips of pickled melon, vegetables and brown melon, drenched with sweet plum sauce, vegetable oil, pepper and cinnamon powder. When: 15 Jan to 14 Feb; closed on 31 Jan Tel: 6272 8822

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Spotlight Fukuichi

If you enjoy the fresh and healthy flavours of Japanese cuisine, Fukuichi located at Triple One Somerset offers an option of exquisite Japanese Yu Sheng ($68, serves four to six) made without artificial flavourings and the usual crackers. Instead, the dish is a delightful combination of sashimi and nuts like roasted almonds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, artfully tossed with ingredients that include Japanese seaweed, pickles, pomelo, radish and mushrooms, topped with bonito flakes and plum sauce. When: 20 Jan to 14 Feb Tel: 6271 5586

10 at claymore

Celebrate the Lunar season with Pan Pacific Orchard Singapore’s a la carte buffet and set menus. Dine-in Highlights: The Auspicious Plates of Treasure (from $62), presents exquisite seasonal favourites which includes the 8 Treasure Broth, Pacific Cod Blossom, Szechuan Kurobuta Pork, Australian Beef Tenderloin and Lotus Rice of Harmony. The last is an assortment of premium abalone, dried scallop and Nagano pork belly. For set menus, the Reunion Matters is an eight-course set lunch or dinner menu (from $988) or nine-course set lunch or dinner menu ($1388) that features culinary delights such as Imperial Barbecue Glazed Nagano Pork, Australian Baby Abalone and scallop perched upon a bed of Hong Kong spinach, and White Truffle Infused Bonito Ee Mian. When: 15 Jan to 15 Feb. The Auspicious Plates of Treasure ala carte buffet is served at lunch and dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year, and first and second day of the Chinese New Year, and only at dinner and Sunday Brunch on other days. Reunion Matters is available during weekday lunch or dinner and weekend lunch or dinner. Tel: 6737 0811 or email eat.sgp@panpacific.com

Checkers Brasserie

This Chinese New Year’s eve, indulge in a Harmonious Reunion Feast at Hilton Singapore’s all-day dining restaurant. Dine-In: The restaurant serves a buffet dinner ($88 per person, $42 per child aged six to 12 years old) comprising well-loved dishes such as the Prosperity Yusheng, Mini Buddha Jumps Over The Wall, succulent Chinese carvings of Peking Duck with crepes and roasted pork belly returns to the menu, together with the luscious stewed pork knuckles and a baked sea bass. For extended families, its Triumph to Success Yu Sheng (from $688 for 30 persons) comes with generous portions of salmon, two-head abalones, served alongside truffle oil and gold flakes, with add-on options for premium Italian caviar. This is available for order only with dine-in banquet menu bookings (from $688 per table of 10) and orders must be made three days in advance. When: 30 Jan for buffet dinner; 30 Jan to 14 Feb for Triumph to Success Yu Sheng Tel: 6730 3392 Takeaways: Abalone and salmon yu sheng ($58) and abalone and crab yu sheng ($78). Goodies such as pineapple tarts, loaf cakes and almond sugee (priced from $38 to $78). When: Till 14 Feb | Tel: 6730 3392 or email sinhi.checkers@hilton.com

Cold Storage Takeaways

Located conveniently all over the island, the supermarket provides luxe options for the reunion dinner feasting that requires only heating up. Each dish even comes with its own attractive claypot. The Buddha Jump Over The Wall with Clay Pot ($188.88) contains premium ingredients such as abalone, fish maw, sea cucumbers, Japanese scallops, conch meat, mushrooms, chicken, pork trotters, ham, Korean ginseng flakes, Chinese yam, Astragalus roots, salvia, wolfberries and Chinese Angelica roots. The Eight Treasure Glutinous Rice Duck with Clay Pot ($138.88) is a unique dish showcases a whole duck that is slow cooked with eight different treasures namely, glutinous rice, dried shrimp, mushrooms, wax sausages, baby abalones, spring onion, ginger, onion, and spices. When: 27 Dec till the end of Chinese New Year or while stocks last

Peach Garden

All prices featured in this section are subject to relevant tax and service charges.

The well-loved Cantonese restaurant rings in the Lunar New Year with special dine-in highlights that are available across all outlets. Dine-In Highlights: The Prosperity Shredded Geo Duck Clam, Lobster and Salmon Fish Yu Sheng, Braised Shark’s Fin (Whole) with Black Chicken Soup, Roasted Rack of Suckling Pig, Steamed Dragon Garoupa with Crispy Water Chestnut and Lily Bulb, Braised Two-head Mexican Abalone with Longevity Noodle and Trio of Harmony, as part of a set menu for 10 ($3,888). When: Throughout the Chinese New Year period Takeaways: Mini Deluxe Pen Cai ($238 for six persons), Homemade Radish Cake, Pumpkin Cake and Yam Cake ($18.80 each; Yam and Pumpkin Cake are available only at the Thomson branch). There’s also the Water Chestnut Pudding ($18.80), Golden Koi Nian Gao ($33.80) and assorted cookies and nuts (from $22.80). Buffet catering lunch and dinner services are also available from $40 per person, with a minimum of 30. When: 1 Jan to 14 Feb, last order on 27 Jan for collection dates on the eve, 1st and 2nd day of Chinese New Year Tel: 6838 0084 / 6838 0083 (for catering) and 6838 0084 (for corporate or bulk orders) or email banquet@peachgarden. com.sg. Visit www. peachgarden.com.sg for full listings

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Spotlight

Food Memories

Amidst the modern and lavish interpretations for Chinese New Year feasts, we get five Chinese chefs from the Society of Chinese Cuisine Chefs to share a traditional dish they hold close to their hearts. “One Chinese New Year dish I miss is the Teochew style braised duck, cooked by my mother. We used to handpick the ducks ourselves, and we reared them from baby ducks till they were of large enough size to be eaten. The duck is prepared in a very traditional manner, where we slowly baste and glaze the duck with gravy, and then simmering it for hours until it attains a tender texture. The duck may not look like the prettiest, but the eventual dish is so flavourful, and it is a taste that cannot be found outside of home. Perhaps it is also because we used wood fire. Back then, we used to eat dishes like these only during festive season and special occasions, unlike today, when we can enjoy these dishes any other day.” Chef Austen Ong, Advisor, Society of Chinese Cuisine Chefs and Director of Kitchens, Seafood International

“I miss my grandfather’s Hainan Kou Rou. He used to prepare it all the time, but these days, the older generation don’t do that as much. The authentic dish must have dried cuttlefish, dried shrimps and black fungus, and then braised until soft.” Chef Pung Lu Tin, Advisor, Society of Chinese Cuisine Chefs and Director of Kitchens, Gim Tim Group of Restaurants

“The dish I miss most would be popiah. We are a Hokkien family and every year, my dad would cook this up and prepare the rolls for us. We cook it using our family recipe, so there is always a lot of nostalgia in this dish.” Chef Raymond Goh, Vice President, Society of Chinese Cuisine Chefs and Owner, Bee Heong Palace Restaurant

“Hakka Fried Meat is a classic that we used to eat all the time when I was younger. The dish would be marinated and then fried and then braised. It is very difficult to find this homestyle dish now. These days, I can only find the same taste when I go to kampungs in Malaysia for dinner.” Chef Chong Wai Choong, Vice President, Society of Chinese Cuisine Chefs and Executive Chef, Long Beach Seafood Restaurant

“Being a Hokkien, there’s one traditional dish we always have and that’s the Chinese style Duck Soup with Chinese Herbs. The soup tastes the best when you use old duck, and my mother used to prepare this dish during Chinese New Year. There are 10 kids in the family, so it was always a hearty affair.” Chef Aw Ah Lee, President, Society of Chinese Cuisine Chefs and Executive Chef, NUSS

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signature who could cook definitely instilled in me a very natural interest in food. I went on to train in the Cantonese style of cooking, plus had other opportunities to learn other styles of cuisine as well. By drawing on my personal experience, it is my way of sharing my culinary journey with guests who dine at Restaurant HOME, since I have only chosen the best of these experiences to be part of the menu in the restaurant. Q Is there a trend where more people are going back to their roots of traditional Chinese cuisine these days? A Yes, there definitely has been an increase in the number of people going back to their roots of traditional Chinese cuisine. It seems to be the current trend that customers are wanting to reminisce those good Chinese dishes from their past and are constantly on the look out for heritage Chinese dishes that are hard to come by these days.

A Taste of Home

Chef Tan Yong Hua shares the personal stories behind his cuisine and tips for entertaining during Chinese New Year.

Chef Tan Yong Hua

Tucked away in the residential suburbs of Upper Bukit Timah, Restaurant HOME, located at The Rail Mall, is the latest establishment to join the smattering of casual dining and lifestyle services located at the mall. The man at its helm is hardly a stranger to local fine Chinese cuisine. Singaporeborn Chef Tan Yong Hua, a familiar face in the F&B industry, has spent more than two decades in charge of various commercial kitchens. Among them, Sze Chuan Court at then Raffles the Plaza,

6 • The Food Journal

Peach Blossoms at Marina Mandarin, the Pearl River Palace at Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre, and also LingZhi Vegetarian Restaurant by the Tung Lok Group. More recently, he set up Chu Dao (Mandarin for “The Way of Cooking”) in Joo Chiat in 2011, but has since ended the partnership. With Restaurant HOME, it is all about the food that Chef Tan has grown up with, and also an accumulation of lesser-seen heritage Singaporean Chinese dishes. He likens having a restaurant to a space where a chef can show off his creativity and skills, and hopes to do more by delivering a more personalised experience with the dishes he grew up with. Take for example, the diced chicken braised with black fungus, dried lily buds and flower mushrooms in a hot stone pot. It is a Cantonese dish popular in the 1970s and 1980s, and one that the chef considers ripe for revival. This one-pot recipe is a staple on his grandmother’s dinner table, where the trick lies in precise seasoning and cooking techniques to balance the ingredients correctly. The Swa Teng fish is another signature at Restaurant HOME. The story goes that during the years while Chef Tan was growing up in the kampong, electricity was a luxury, which was why the preferred cooking method back then, was in a claypot over an open fire. It also helped that the claypots

were able to keep food warm for a longer period of time. Fast forward to present day, his Swa Teng fish is cooked in a claypot, but refined with premium ingredients (like parrot fish), and a mix of local spices such as blue ginger, lemongrass and spring onions. Q What’s the story behind Restaurant HOME? A Having grown up in Singapore all my life, I remember spending most of my growing years in the kitchen helping my grandmother with the cooking for the family, as well as helping my mother at our vegetarian stall. Growing up surrounded by women

Q In your experience, what types of flavours do the Singaporean palate tend towards? A The Singaporean palate tends to favour Sweet, Sour and Spicy flavours. I find that the local taste buds are more accustomed to flavours that can similarly be found in Thai cuisine. For example in local soups, such as double boiled lotus root or peanut soups, we tend to have a bit of sweetness present as an aftertaste of the soup, even though the initial taste of the soup is salty. The same soup would taste only salty if it was being cooked in Hong Kong, for example - there will not be an added taste of sweetness at the end. Q Can a home-cooked meal be as satisfying as eating out? A Usually it cannot be as satisfying, mainly because the same dish that is eaten in restaurants will not have the same flavour if it is cooked at home for a host of reasons. The methods used in restaurants for cooking may not be suited for home cooking, further more, when cooking at home, the flavour of the dish is always catered to the taste buds


signature sense of satisfaction gotten from a homecooked meal will not be the same as when dining out. Q What would you cook at home for a laid-back meal with family or friends? A I would cook the same dishes that are available at my restaurant – braised diced chicken with black fungus, dried lily buds and flower mushrooms, stir-fried diced beef with onion and capsicum in black pepper sauce and finally, braised duo rice vermicelli with pork knuckles. I would cook these for my family and friends, as they are simple and easy to whip up in a jiffy. They also hold many memories for me, as these are dishes that I grew up eating and are definitely food that I would share with loved ones and friends, let alone guests who dine at Restaurant HOME. of the family, whereas in restaurants the general taste of the dish has to be suited to the masses. For example, in a restaurant, there are some stir-fried dishes that have ‘wok-hei’ because the dish has to be cooked with large flames and high heat. If this dish is replicated at home, the ‘wok-hei’ will be difficult to achieve since the stoves used at home is very different compared to those found in restaurants. Hence, the

Q With the festivities around the corner, what’s your advice on preparing a feast for a large group of people? A If you are intending to cook for large groups of people during Chinese New Year, it is important to keep the flavours of the dishes simple. Selecting dishes that can be prepared in advance like soups and stews, will also be better as then you can do your preparations and cooking in advance and

hosting a feast for large groups will not be so hectic on the actual day. Q Could you share any overall tips on crafting a meal, just like a professional does, at home? It could be a cooking method or a creative way of working with or prepping an ingredient. A In the past, Chinese restaurant chefs used their knives to beat a piece of meat, for example a piece of tenderloin, to loosen up the meat, so that it will not be tough when cooked. A better method that chefs use these days, that can easily replicated at home, is to cut the piece of meat across its grain and ensure that the meat is marinated in a bit of water and other seasoning, and then gently massaging the meat so that it absorbs the marinade. This way it will be moist and tender and full of flavour when the meat is cooked. Q This Chinese New Year, what will you be preparing, whether for home or in the restaurant? A At the restaurant we have a variety of Chinese New Year set menus that feature the signature dishes of the restaurant. Examples are the Lychee Wood Barbecued Duck with Special Sauce, and Stewed Yellow Noodles with Lobster and

Spring Onions wrapped in Oba leaves to name a few. Chinese New Year is a special time so I have also taken the opportunity to create some new dishes, such as the Mini Buddha Jump Over the Wall, which is always an auspicious dish for this time of the year. Many regular customers love entertaining at home. I have created the Chinese New Year Take Away Set Menu for guests who want to have their reunion in the comfort of their homes. We have taken the chance to use more premium ingredients, such as the Barbecued Goose with Lychee Wood, instead of using duck. (The CNY Take Away Set Menu is a five course dinner menu, priced at $678 for 10 persons). There is also the Braised Treasures Collection - my take on the much loved Pen Cai. (The Braised Treasures Collection is also available for à la carte take away orders, and cost $268 for 6 or $448 for 10.) Q How do you maintain healthy eating? A Bby brewing a good and hearty pot of soup to nourish the soul and re-energise one self. Drinking soups also helps to keep my internal body “qi” in balance and helps to prevent me from falling sick that often. 392 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Rail Mall. Tel: 6465 1698

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insider Q More than a kitchenware and tableware retailer, ToTT has diversified into various platforms such as a bistro, events space, cooking facilities and a gourmet market. What’s the secret to juggling several portfolios? A I think the secret lies in being able to work with my management and operational teams closely. Six top management personnel from our parent company, Sia Huat, were tasked to set ToTT up through our different expertise. My initial role was to oversee the marketing and events, which included setting up the cooking studio, Bake&Go corner, the bistro, and the gourmet food partnership. Today, I have a strong team assisting me with marketing, retail, and food & beverage operations so that I can focus on staff and business development. Q What was it like during the start-up stages? A I remember canvassing for partners with just a business plan and artist drawings. In most cases, my initial choice of partners did not respond quickly enough or positively to our pitch. However, we remained committed to our vision of inspiring cooking, baking and hosting, and within a year of our new store opening, potential partners who wanted to be a part of our integrated concept approached us.

Kitchen Confidential Three years on, we get Grace Tan, Director of homegrown brand, ToTT, to share its recipe for success and find out what’s cooking in her kitchen.

Q Any advice for budding entrepreneurs? A The F&B and retail industry in Singapore is often held hostage by high rental and manpower costs. If you choose to enter this industry, but are not a landlord, prepare to focus even more on staff development. While we have no control over government policies, we can still shape our company culture so that it is a highly desirable workplace for both current and future employees. I am still struggling with staff development but I am fortunate to have the support of my Human Resource department. Many SMEs may not even have a HR department and that can be a challenge in recruiting and retaining staff. My advice is to not underestimate the importance of this resource.

Q Congrats on ToTT turning three last year. What are some important milestones for ToTT within this period? A In March 2013, the International Housewares Association invited me to Chicago as ToTT was being nominated as one of the top global housewares retailers. We were one of the 23 nominees from 22 countries recognized for our overall vision and strategy, store design and layout, visual merchandising, marketing, customer service, and innovation. It was a humbling experience to stand alongside these international retailers. Yet at the same time, it was a proud experience for our ‘uniquely Singapore’ brand. We did not rest on our laurels but instead underwent a minor renovation where we brought in a strong gourmet food partner and expanded our back office to accommodate e-commerce operations. We recognise that our success depends on the full support from our staff. With this in mind, we started a monthly storewide staff bonding session that includes free breakfast, birthday celebrations, and verbal appreciation of fellow colleagues by the birthday staff, and sharing of sales targets. Q How did the idea for an e-commerce platform come about and what’s in it for shoppers? A ToTTstore.com, launched in November 2013, is a natural expansion of the business given today’s retail landscape. It provides a consistent and complete shopping experience to savvy consumers who often research online before making purchases. We have also taken pains to build up content such as buying guides, recipes, and a user-friendly interface that includes product comparisons and wish-list functions. Grace Tan, Director of ToTT

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insider

Q Where do you hope to see ToTT in five years time? A I believe ToTT would have taken up inquiries to expand overseas through joint ventures or franchising. Q You’re married to an avid home cook. What’s a conversation starter piece and useful cooking tool from ToTT, for those of us who entertain on the weekends? A My husband and I threw our housewarming party recently with mostly just a pizza oven and an ice cream machine. He prepared the dough in advance and our guests had fun putting together their favourite toppings. Then, they simply had to pop it in the Pizza Perfector (retails at ToTT for $199) for 10 to 15 minutes to get a perfectly done pizza. We also had a constant flow of barbecued meats and a fruit salad to complete the meal. Dessert came in the form of six different flavours (papaya, coconut, Baileys with a hint of chocolate, salted caramel with macadamia, coffee, and fudgy chocolate) of ice cream churned over two days by the Cuisinart Professional Ice Cream Maker (retails at ToTT for $985). Our guests were quite happy to help us finish the ice cream. Q What’s a useful cooking gadget for busy families who prepare dinner on a daily basis? A We really love the Sousvide Supreme (retails at ToTT for $998) because it makes cooking idiot-proof. You just need

to get the right temperature-time combination for your food, set it, and leave it to cook. Done right, the meats are never dry or overcooked. My husband has prepared 64 degrees (“onsen”) egg, pork belly roasted for 48-hours to give it a crispy skin, and even a turducken (yes, duck wrapped in chicken wrapped in turkey). Beef and salmon are also best cooked with the sous vide technique as they are so easy to overcook. One of my favourite home cooked meals is taking out the duck confit that was made by sous vide over the weekend and pairing it with sautéed vegetables. Q What takes pride of place in your kitchen now? A The Pizza Perfector was a housewarming gift that we didn’t think we would buy for ourselves (the perfect kind of gift). But now that we have it, I am beginning to realise how fun and addictive pizzas can be. Q Chinese New Year is round the corner. What types of food does the family enjoy? A For last year’s Lunar New Year, my husband made a sous vide strawberry cheesecake in the mould of a large fish to symbolise prosperity. I think maybe this year we may try one in the mould of a pineapple. I also love his roasted pork belly that is comparable to the mixed platter of roast meats that you get at Cantonese restaurants. Other than my husband’s cooking, I look forward to my mother’s signature black vinegar pig trotters and Shanghainese new year cake every Lunar New Year. This means that I have the ‘difficult’ job of helping to finish up the food rather than with cooking.

Photos from ToTT

Q What trends do you anticipate for this industry? A The trend is increasingly about offering an integrated shopping experience that is consistent across all sales channels.

Q Definition of a good meal? A One that is enjoyed with loved ones, whether prepared at home or in a dining establishment. For me, any meal with loved ones that has a Japanese cuisine theme, is almost always guaranteed a perfect meal. Q Do you have a routine that energises you or helps you unwind, stay focused and lead a more balanced life? A I try to take pilates but have not been able to commit to a weekly schedule due to frequent impromptu and urgent meetings. Now that we have moved, I will make it a point to take a morning swim at least twice a week. This really helps me with my neck and backaches, and is a refreshing way to start the day.

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dining out The Powder Room

The Black Swan, a restaurant-bar by The Lo & Behold Group, welcomes an exciting addition with the opening of their mezzanine lounge - The Powder Room, a sexy 70-seater bar nestled on the upper floors of the restaurant-bar. While The Black Swan offers a communal setting for dining and drinking on the ground floor, The Powder Room is more ideal for intimate moments with the private nooks and comfy lounge seating. The generous standing room space also allows drinkers to mingle. As for the food, The Powder Room offers the same beverage and bar snack menu as The Black Swan. Some of these include oysters, charcuterie and crostini platters, as well as a range of sliders with fillings such as soft shell crab, 36-hour pulled duck and grilled beef with foie gras. Drinks-wise, look forward to clever twists as Czech bar manager Kamil Foltan creates refreshing spins off your classics. Some of the popular drinks include Silver Lining ($19), a muddle of amaretto, peach and dark cherry flavours and Moral Hazard, a bold take on the Old Fashioned. For us, we couldn’t end the night better than with our new personal favourite - Good Night Peru ($19), a Peruvian Pisco infused with chamomile tea leaves and shaken with egg white. 19 Cecil Street. T: 8181 3305

Lower East Side Tacqueria

PAUL – French Bakery

Its newest location at the Ocean Financial Centre is the first to feature a two-level bakery, with bakery counters on the ground and basement floors, and a 60-seater restaurant on the ground floor. To cater for its executive clientele, a long bench of single seaters is specially allocated for guests dining alone. In addition to baguettes, artisan breads and dessert pastries, PAUL also serves an all-day menu of warm and cold sandwiches and fresh salads. 10 Collyer Quay, #01-01 & #B1-01, Ocean Financial Centre. T: 6634 9068 (bakery counter @ L1) / 6634 7686 (restaurant) / 6634 5880 (bakery counter @ basement)

10 • The Food Journal

Among the latest Mexican-inspired tacqueria to open, Lower East Side Tacqueria in Katong serves mainly tacos and burritos (from $11). Chillies are the starring acts, with three levels of spice intensity. Level 1 is spicy yet enjoyable, level 2 is advised for seasoned chilli lovers while level 3 is only recommended for the brave! Esta Picante! Unlike the Asian chilli sauces we’re used to, these kick off an intense and burning heat on the tongue, with level 3 lasting a good 15 minutes. For a thirst-quenching drink to temper the fiery assault of the chillies, ChefPartner Claudio Sandri has concocted the traditional beverage Horchata ($5). This sweet number – achieved by blending grains, almonds, nuts and cinnamon – is a milky yet refreshing chilled beverage that is typically enjoyed in summer in Mexico. 19 East Coast Road. T: 9824 4009


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Woo Ricebox

Options abound for the home-cooked flavours of Taiwanese fare but few serve a full meal in unapologetically fast-service style, catered to a lunch crowd on the go. One of Taiwan’s most popular chains for rice boxes for over 70 years, Woo Ricebox (the 200-strong chain in Taiwan) opens its first outlet located at the heart of the Central Business District. The 60-seater outlet offers three main categories of rice boxes – fried, braised and healthy (from $5.90 to $9.90). Woo’s fried and braised lunch boxes dishes up mainly chicken and pork options in said cooking style. The healthy versions uses five-grain rice instead of steamed white rice. 10 Collyer Quay, #B1-03/05 Ocean Financial Centre. T: 6636 8101

Arossa Wine & Grill Bar

As its name suggests, the focus is on grilled meats, fresh seafood and wine pairing, with an emphasis on the last. Its wine list extends to 120 labels of Old and New world wines, perfect for pairing with items its Off The Grill selection. We like the Spanish Iberian pork loin ($35 for 200g) and Australian ribeye ($40 for 200g). For sharing, there’s the Australian T-bone steak (serves 2, $150 for 1kg) and the seafood platter ($88). No.6 Scotts Road, #02-01 Scotts Square. T: 6636 2951

TANGS Market

Alongside the completion of the TANGS Home revamp at basement one, TANGS Market returns and this time, with a brand new lineup of food stalls. There’s plenty to choose from. From Asian favourites that pay homage to its Singaporean roots such as New Market Teochew Suckling Pig, Kway Guan Huat Joo Jiat Original Popiah & Kueh Pie Tee, PeraMakan and Ya Kun; to flagship stalls making their debut like The Mustard Incident (gourmet hotdogs), Ice Cream Junkie (from the people behind Seventh Heaven) and Krispy Kreme. The popular Tiong Bahru Bakery can also be found here, serving up the perfect teatime combo of croissant and coffee. Basement 1, Tangs Orchard.

The Food Journal • 11


dining out Chophouse

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TOR’S PIC K

1 Harbourfront Walk, #01-161/161 VivoCity. T: 6376 9262

E

Singapore’s first self-tap beer gastro-bar is brought to you by the same good people behind the successful Wooloomooloo Steakhouse. The Chop House showcases a range of classic western favourites executed with flair and fun. A definite crowd pleaser is the mega 4kg Beef Shank Lollipop ($140) that satiates at least four to six hungry diners. This fall-off-the-bone meaty shank braised in a delectable brown sauce is not for the faint hearted, and advisable to order in advance. For a simple fuss-free delight, slice into the 200g USDA Prime Ribeye ($36) - flown in directly from Australia and New Zealand – and you will not be disappointed. Also featuring the state-of-the-art SelfTap Beer stations, don’t forget to pull some pints before leaving the restaurant! Simply purchase their stored value card, top-up the desired amount, tap in, pull your pint and tap out. Beers are charged by per millilitre.

La Strada

Since its closure in 2012, well-loved Italian restaurant, La Strada has been missed by loyal fans. They return, this time, in laid-back vibe, trattoria style. Expect traditional Italian fare, with signature items like carbonara ($25), crab meat pasta ($28), chicken cacciatore ($24) and roasted veal loin ($30). And as the result of a synergistic collaboration between Caveau Wine Bar and La Strada, diners will have an expansive range of Italian labels to choose from. 1 Scotts Road, #01-11 Shaw Centre. T: 6735 6656

Art Bar

Platters Bistro & Wine Bar New at Westin Singapore

The newly opened Westin Singapore brings three new dining establishments to the hotel under the auspices of Executive Chef Sven Capo. Seasonal Tastes, their signature venue on the 32nd floor, offers five interactive kitchens based on lunch and dinner buffet concepts that encompass a selection of classic dishes, local cuisine and wholesome choices for health conscious guests. On the 33rd floor, gastro-bar Cook & Brew offers classical pub favourites and local comfort food, together with an extensive wine list and beers from around the world. Daily Treats, a gourmet market located on the ground level showcases unique food, beverages and gifts from around the world – an ideal location to pick up freshly roasted gourmet coffee, sandwiches and fruit juices. 12 Marina View, Asia Square Tower 2. T: 6922 6968 (Seasonal Tastes) / 6922 6078 (Cook & Brew) / 6922 6998 (Daily Treats)

12 • The Food Journal

From now till end February, enjoy an indulgencethemed Chef Designed menu and cheekily named dishes from the #fatyoudie series at Platters Bistro & Wine Bar. What to expect: the Maniac Meat main course nicknamed ‘Never Die Before’ course of grilled Angus sirloin and roast chicken, accompanied with buah keluak butter, homemade foie gras terrine, potatoes and grape jelly, and The Chef’s Dessert #1, a rich fondant cake with caramel, Bailey’s, rum espuma, coffee jelly, banana ice cream and chilli chocolate crumb, and The Chef’s Dessert #2, freshly baked madeleines with rose espuma, lychee jelly, raspberry sorbet and rose meringue. Elsewhere on the menu, the team has also introduced Chef Inspirations, with platters to share, such as Baby Back Ribs with Hoi Sin Sauce, Lamb Cutlet with Cereal and Honeyed Cod. Prices for these platters are at $35 (choice of 3 dishes) and $65 (choice of 5 dishes). 42 Club Street. T: 6223 8048

The latest addition to The Butter Factory, this hip watering hole (previously Fash) promises a lineup of cocktails that are lower in calories than your standard tipple. These skinny cocktails make up half the menu like French-caramel tinged, coffee-based Cocoa made Me Do It (136 calories and only half that of a large cola!), Hazelnut Waif, and the Slavender, an Earl Grey infused gin served in a coffee shop takeaway bag with a straw. Even then, we wouldn’t mind spending the calories on the popular and delicious Yoko Mojito, which is named for Yoko Ono and calls attention to the Chrysanthemum rum-based mojito, served in a ketchup squeeze bottle. There’s no cover charge to the bar, and it’s $10 nett on all cocktails during Happy Hour from 8pm to 12 midnight. Art Bar also doubles as a venue for selected artists to display their works and also showcase their performances. 1 Fullerton Road, One Fullerton #02-02/03/04. T: 6333 8243 Cocoa Made Me Do It

Yoko Mojito


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dining out

Shirokiya

Shirokiya, a casual izakaya-style dining concept, emphasises wholesome cuisine rooted in two concepts – Bishoku Ryori (loosely translated in ‘food that promotes beauty’) and Soken Ryori (traditional Japanese seasoning). The menu is extensive, with no less than 85 items that are high in collagen, hyaluronic acid, capsaicin and lycopene. They are also enhanced with traditional Japanese food seasonings such as shio-koji (salted rice malt) and sho miso (fermented rice, barley and soybeans) instead of commercial flavour enhancers. That said, the beauty-touting dishes are just plus points for the tasty signatures. We like simple, fresh flavours, and the hot tofu (freshly made every hour) served with three kinds of salt or fish stock ($7.80) was one of them, and so was the shabu-shabu salad with sesame dressing ($15.80) – the crux being juicy slices of kurobuta pork with a dash of chilli oil. The Health and Beauty Hotpot with special chicken and collagen stock ($33.80 for 2 – 3 pax) was equally enjoyable, and a good alternative to the other popular collagen hotpot spot in town. And if you’d like to try your hand at preparing a tradition-steeped dish that’s not often available in restaurants, order the handmade yuba in hotpot ($9.80). A nondescript pot of soymilk is served at the table, and the server proceeds to heat up the pot, adding a few drops of bittern to act as a coagulant, before leaving the soymilk to heat up until a gossamer thin film forms on the surface. When the delicate film starts to thicken, carefully lift it from the pot with chopsticks, and enjoy the soft, chewy sheets of tofu skin or yuba. Drinks-wise, there are plenty of options for beer, whisky and cocktails. 43 & 43A Cuppage Road, Cuppage Centre. T: 6732 8588

Stellar at 1-Altitude

Wine lovers, this one’s for you. Stellar at 1-Altitude launches its first brunch menu, and the highlight is a tasting table of up to 10 wine labels from wine regions like Australia, Chile, Italy, New Zealand and Spain. There’s also a smaller selection of wine and sparkling wines that are offered free-flow. If you’ve enjoyed the tasting table wines, they may be purchased at wholesale prices. For food, the Wine Lust Sunday Brunch ($110) by Executive Chef Christopher Millar will feature eight live food stations of sushi, eggs, cold cuts, meats, pasta, cheese trolley and desserts.

Nuvo

Siam Society

6 Raffles Boulevard, #02-100, Marina Square Shopping Mall. T: 6822 2098

15 Jalan Riang. T: 6286 8603

Tucked away in a discreet corner of The Dining Edition, the foodie enclave at Marina Square, this restaurant and bar concept is a plus for diners who seek to enjoy their lunch or dinner away from the bustle of shoppers. Nuvo combines the best of Italian and Japanese ingredients and techniques for their menu, with a substantial portion allocated to its wine list. Which is why you’ll find items like the Kabocha Soup with Onsen Tamago ($15) – a creamy pumpkin soup with Parmesan cheese, Onsen egg and crisped Parma ham – sitting alongside Florentine tripe ($15/$20) and Grilled Lamb ($30/$38) on the menu. The dual price options reflect the portions for either starter or main course portions. The wine list, with an unsurprising emphasis on Italian wines, should satisfy discerning vinos. There’s Champagne, sparkling wines, dessert wines, wines priced by the bottle from $29 to $99, and premium bottles from winemakers like Antinori.

Knock back a few and enjoy good Thai cuisine amongst the laid-back neighbourhood of Jalan Riang. Literally off the beaten track (it’s located within the private housing estate bounded by Serangoon Avenue 3 and Braddell Road), this casual Thai eatery prides itself on authentic fare in a trendy, casual minimalist setting. So, aside from staple fare like Thai basil pork, tom yum goong and pineapple rice – which they do very well, by the way – specialities on their menu include a more unlikely selection of crispy pork knuckle, given a twist with Thai herbs marinade, steamed seabass with a zingy chilli lime sauce and “Weeping Tiger”, a grilled steak marinated with the flavourful spices originating from the north-eastern Esarn region of Thailand. We found the spice levels just perfect – it’s feisty, but not overly so that you can’t enjoy the dish. The pork knuckles are aromatic and crispy like any you’d expect at any good German outfit. Expect to spend about $15 to $30 per pax.

All prices featured in this section are subject to relevant tax and service charges.

1 Raffles Place. Level 62. T: 6438 0410

The Food Journal • 13


Plates and small bowls from Modern Link

seasoned to taste

Chef Heman Tan

Yin Yang Festivities

Embrace a whole new approach to home cooking this Spring Festival, with a Western spin, using well-loved ingredients. Recipes by Executive Chef Heman Tan and Pastry Chef Chai Poh Lo, JP Pepperdine Group | Images by HB Photography A home cooked meal, often the pinnacle of Chinese New Year celebrations in many homes, represents the heritage passed down from each generation in the family. But far be it that tradition need always revolve around the usual suspects. The award-winning chefs from JP Pepperdine take the idea of traditional Spring Festival dishes and ingredients, and interpret them in Western dishes, while keeping to the spirit of this important Chinese celebration. “During Chinese New Year, everyone typically dines out at Chinese restaurants, and orders the usual yu sheng or roast duck dishes. After awhile, perhaps we might want to have a change and try a different menu, which is why I’ve created these fusion recipes, together with my

14 • The Food Journal

pastry chef, to offer something refreshing for the celebrations,” says Chef Tan. This complete menu of appetisers, mains and desserts star familiar and wellloved ingredients, delivered in Westernstyle. Many of them are also personally culled from Chef Tan’s home entertaining menu during the festival. His advice to keep cooking manageable? “If you do not have time for elaborate dishes, try searching for recipes that have less cooking to be done on the stove. For example, salad items with an easy to prepare dressing. Or a quick cooking meat item that can be done in the oven,” he says. Tasked with overseeing the operations of the Group, including well-loved steakhouse Jack’s Place, Eatzi Gourmet,

Kkongdon Korean Barbeque and Restaurant Hoshigaoka, Chef Tan brings over 20 years of culinary experience to the kitchen, and his expertise extends to desserts. Of his peach panna cotta with white fungus dessert, he says that the inspiration comes from an annually requested dish from his father, who enjoys the texture of the eight-hour slow cooked white fungus. For the finale, Pastry Chef Chai Poh Lo’s addition of blended fresh mandarin oranges to the ubiquitous crème brulee, contributes the remainder dessert. Chef Chai has 24 years of experience at various prestigious establishments and has garnered several gold and silver awards over the years.

Chef Chai Poh Lo


seasoned to taste

Yu Sheng Salad

Yu sheng, literally translated into “raw fish”, stands out as a symbol of prosperity, abundance and good fortune. In its original form, it resembles an Asian salad with shredded vegetables, assorted preserved condiments and slices of raw fish topped with plum sauce. Although the dish is now enjoyed throughout the Chinese New Year period, it was traditionally served only on the seventh day of the Chinese New Year, also known as Ren Ri or literally translated into “the birth date of humanity”. A favourite with Chef Tan’s children, this yu sheng selection of salad greens and fruits give a delicious and healthy take on a staple, while sashimi fish and traditional ginger condiments retain the traditional element. “For a more crisp salad, soak shredded carrots in ice cold water for at least 2 hours, and leafy greens for at least half an hour,” says Chef Tan. After which, ensure that the vegetables are thoroughly spun dry before assembling. While the original sesame dressing in this recipe calls for smooth peanut butter, use chunky peanut butter if you prefer a crunchier texture.

Serves 10 Salad Ingredients • 80g arugula rocket leaves, washed and dried • 80g baby spinach, washed and dried • 50g red coral lettuce, washed and dried • 50g carrot, julienned and soaked in cold water • 50g pomelo, peeled and separated into smaller chunks • 4 strawberries, hulled and sliced • 50g mango, peeled, de-seeded and sliced • 30g dried apricot, sliced • 30g sundried tomatoes, sliced • 30g yu sheng ginger condiments (in 3 colours, available at Guang Xiang Tai) • 20g pistachio nuts, toasted and roughly chopped • 20g sunflower seeds • 30g pomegranate, peeled and broken into segments • 40g chuka wakame, shredded • 100g salmon sashimi, sliced • 100g smoked sword fish, sliced • 50g crab kani, shredded • 1 tsp salmon roe • 100g Honey Gold Flakes cereal Sesame Dressing • 50ml balsamic vinegar reduction (from most supermarkets) • 300ml Japanese sesame dressing • 3 tbsp peanut butter (smooth or chunky) • 50ml extra virgin olive oil

Method

1 2 3

Assemble all pre-prepared yu sheng ingredients. In a bowl, mix all ingredients for sesame dressing well.

Drizzle sesame dressing onto yu sheng. Top with cereal flakes.

The Food Journal • 15


seasoned to taste

Tuna and Egg Canapé

serveS 30 Tuna AND Egg Mixture • 100g canned tuna in water, drained • 3 medium eggs, boiled and chopped • 2tbsp Thousand Island dressing

Although this isn’t strictly a Chinese New Year dish, the tuna and egg canapé makes a good alternative option for the modern host. The savoury option adds a fresh entry to the usual menu of spring rolls, dumplings, cookies and pastries. Best of all, it is also a great appetiser to serve up, if guests should arrive unannounced. The tuna, egg and Thousand Island mixture can be prepared in advance, as it keeps for up to two days in the refrigerator. “It’s easy to assemble, and an often requested for when I have guests at home,” says Chef Tan.

• 30 pcs, ready-to-use chips • 10g black caviar • 3 tbsp trout roe caviar • coriander leaf to garnish

Method

1

In a bowl, mix tuna, chopped eggs and Thousand Island dressing well. Chill in refrigerator. Mixture can be kept for two days in the refrigerator.

2

Spoon about a teaspoon of the tuna, egg and dressing mixture onto each potato chip.

3 4

Slate plate from ToTT

Top with black and trout roe caviar. Garnish with coriander leaf. Serve.

GIVING YOU

GREAT TASTE! AT IT’S BEST!

Corporate Office and Factory: 12 Senoko Avenue, Singapore 758302 Tel: 6748 7766 Fax: 6286 5948 Email: enquiry@kctsoya.com Retail Outlet: No 61-63, Lorong 27 Geylang, Off Sims Ave, Singapore 388186 Tel: 6748 0128 Fax: 6743 0848

Eat All Foods In Moderation

16 • The Food Journal

HCCCP

ISO 22000

CERT NO.: H-2003-0056

CERT NO.: FSMS-2008-2009 ISO 22000 : 2005

CODEX CAC/RCP 1-1969, REV 4 (2003) SS 444 : 2010


seasoned to taste

Wooden board from ToTT

Buttered Focaccia Bites with Curry-Scented Mayo, Bak Kwa and Rose Apple

serveS 20 Buttered Focaccia Bites • 10g garlic, finely chopped • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened • Pinch of salt • 1 loaf, focaccia bread • coriander leaf to garnish Curry-Scented Mayo, Bak Kwa and Rose Apple • 100g mayonnaise • 1 tsp curry powder • 50g bak kwa, diced • 1 rose apple (also known as jambu), diced

Thought to have originated from Southern China, bak kwa (thin slices of marinated and smoked meats) or rou gan was traditionally made from pork, but contemporary versions have since evolved to using chicken and beef. Considered a delicacy, bak kwa is a must-have at every Chinese New year celebrations, and is also a popular gift item. In addition to the many ways to serve bak kwa – aside from doing so in all its original aromatic, sweet and salty glory – why not try it in a spread, on toasted focaccia, tapas-style? Preparation tip: use round metal cutters to cut bite-sized shapes out of the focaccia bread, for instant visual appeal.

Seafood Pen Cai Cioppino

1 2

In a bowl, combine garlic, softened butter and salt. Mix well. Slice focaccia loaf lengthwise. Using round-shaped metal cutters, cut bite-sized rounds out of each focaccia half, spread garlic butter and toast each round till lightly browned.

3 4 5

In a bowl, mix all ingredients for the curry-scented mayo. Top each round of toasted focaccia bread with the mayo.

Garnish with coriander leaf. Serve.

Method

The Asian counterpart of a casserole, the pen cai, or “one pot dish” is served only during Chinese New Year, bearing the significance of abundance and prosperity. The pen cai is traditionally served in wooden, porcelain or metal basins, but Chef Tan suggests using a cast iron pot so that the food cooks beautifully (seals in the juices of the seafood) and may also be used for presentation. Alternatively, a casserole dish or large pot will also suffice. Chef Tan’s inspiration for a cioppino-style pen cai stems from the fact that both dishes are traditionally loaded with copious amounts of seafood. And with a taste profile borrowed from the cioppino, this pen cai uses a tomato and red wine liquid base instead of the Chinese oyster-flavoured gravy.

1

To make the cioppino jus, boil the clams, mussels and prawns in 500ml of water. Remove from heat once clams start to open. Set aside.

2 serveS 10 Cioppino Jus • 250g clams • 300g mussels • 4 pcs tiger prawns • 500ml water

Oval Cocotte from Staub

Method

• 1 garlic bulb, diced • ½ an onion, diced • 50ml tomato paste • 2 cans, whole peeled tomatoes, drained • 200ml red wine • ½ tsp chilli flakes • 150g salmon fillet • 150g cod fillet • 1 spiny lobster, about 400 to 500g • 2 crab claws • 1 can of abalone

Sauté the garlic and onion. Add tomato paste and whole peeled tomatoes to the mixture and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add red wine and simmer for another 1 minute before removing from heat. Stir in cioppino jus and chilli flakes, and then set aside.

3

In a pan, sear salmon and cod fish for 2 minutes on each side. Set aside.

4

Fill a large pot with water and place a steamer rack inside. Place spiny lobster and crabs on the steamer rack; replace lid and steam for 15 to 18 minutes. Set aside.

5

In a large pot or cocotte, combine all seafood and pour cioppino sauce over.

6

Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, only adding in the abalone during the last few minutes.

7

Optional: serve with steamed broccoli and cauliflower or with toasted garlic bread.

The Food Journal • 17


seasoned to taste

Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Orange-Scented Cous Cous

Method

1 2 3

Season the duck breasts with sweet paprika, salt and pepper. Juice the orange and add water till the liquid amounts to 150ml.

Inspired by the Chinese roast duck or Peking ducks that are commonly consumed during the Lunar New Year, this recipe uses duck breast portions (instead of an entire duck) and quick-cooking cous cous to keep preparation time manageable. Cooking is mostly done in the oven, which leaves the home cook time to prep. Finish off the dish with the appetising gravy of Peking duck sauce and balsamic vinegar reduction and serve. “The infusion of orange juice rounds up the dish, bringing the sweet, salty and citrusy notes together in a harmonious flavour profile,” says Chef Tan.

In a saucepan, bring the orange juice liquid to boil. Remove saucepan from heat, then add cous cous, onions and salt to taste. Leave covered for 5 minutes. Top with orange zest before serving.

4

In a pan, sear the duck breasts for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and transfer to a preheated oven. Cook for 18 minutes at 180°C.

5

serveS 6 - 8 Shallow Round Cocotte from Staub

ingredients • 2 duck breasts, about 600g each • 1 tbsp sweet paprika • salt and pepper • 1 fresh orange • Water • 150g cous cous • 1 onion bulb, finely diced • 1 bundle, vine cherry tomatoes, pan-grilled • 3 tbsp Peking Duck sauce • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar reduction

Peach Panna Cotta with Rock Sugar and White Fungus

6

Mix the Peking duck sauce with balsamic vinegar reduction. Set aside.

7

Arrange duck breasts, tomatoes and cous cous on a plate. Drizzle the Peking duck sauce mixture over the duck and garnish with fresh thyme or sage.

8

Serve with baby spinach if desired.

1

Soak the white fungus in cold water for 1 hour, till it expands and softens.

2

Cook the white fungus with the rock sugar in a slow cooker for eight hours. Alternatively, cook for 2 hours in a pot. Remove from slow cooker or pot and leave it to chill in the refrigerator.

3 serveS 4 Rock Sugar with White Fungus • 50g rock sugar crystals, finely chopped • 200g white fungus

Plate from Modern Living; placemat from ToTT

Method

Who needs bird’s nest when you have a similar and nutritive alternative in white fungus? Said to nourish the skin and lungs, the white fungus is also known as “poor man’s bird’s nest” because of the textural resemblance, when it is slow-cooked for eight hours, according to Chef Tan. “Although my recipe states eight to 12 hours, it is actually a simple one to do. You just have to wash and soak the white fungus, and then put it in slow cooker and leave to cook. The next morning, do up the panna cotta, unmould and dress with the white fungus, and optional lemon syrup,” advises Chef Tan. “When buying the rock sugar, look for the smaller rectangle sugar crystals, which are easier to chop up for use, instead of the larger rock sugar blocks. You may also reduce the rock sugar quantity very slightly for health reasons, but not too much; it helps to add taste to the white fungus, which on its own is bland,” he adds.

18 • The Food Journal

Add grilled vine tomatoes to the oven and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on high heat.

Peach Panna Cotta • 1 can of peaches, diced • 750ml full-fat cream • 1pc vanilla pod • 100g sugar • 8g gelatine powder • 35ml kirsch • Seedless grapes to garnish (red, black and green varieties)

For the peach panna cotta, cook diced peaches, cream, vanilla and sugar in a saucepan, on low heat till liquid starts to boil, and then turn off heat immediately.

4

Add gelatine powder and kirsch to the mixture. Pour mixture into a glass mould and let it set in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 6 hours.

5

To serve, unmould the chilled peach panna cotta and carefully invert onto a serving plate. Spoon chilled white fungus over the panna cotta and garnish with grapes. Serve immediately.

6

Optional: For a zesty flavour, mix lemon syrup and water in a 1:1 ratio and drizzle over the panna cotta.


Mandarin Orange Creme Brulee with Forest Berries

If there’s one ingredient you should never miss out on buying during the Chinese New Year celebrations, it has to be the mandarin orange. It’s a tradition for the Chinese to bring along at least two mandarin oranges while visiting the homes of family and friends. By doing so, you wish the recipient an auspicious and prosperous new year, as the widely used Chinese and Cantonese names for mandarin oranges are homonyms for luck and prosperity. Aside from eating them fresh, try mandarin oranges in this creme brulee and jelly recipe. To simplify the recipe further, you may even choose to serve just the mandarin orange jelly whole, as a refreshing dessert.

serveS 6 - 8 Mandarin Orange CrEme Brulee • 5 mandarin oranges • 770g liquid cream, full-fat • 1 pc vanilla pod • 275ml egg yolk • 200g granulated sugar

Plate from Modern Living

Mandarin Orange Jelly • 4 mandarin oranges • 250ml water • 150g sugar • 1 tsp agar agar powder Brown sugar to caramelise Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries for garnish

Method

1

To make the creme brulee, start by blending 5 mandarin oranges in a blender. Set aside the puree.

2

Place cream and vanilla pod in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil and let sit for 15 minutes.

3

In a bowl, whisk together the yolk, sugar, cooked vanilla cream and orange puree, till well combined.

4

Pour the mixture into ramekins. Transport filled ramekins to a baking tray. Pour boiling water into that baking pan, taking care to avoid spillage into the ramekins. Fill tray till water level comes up to half the height of the ramekins and bake till liquid has set. Then set each ramekin aside to chill in the refrigerator.

5 6

To make jelly, first blend 4 oranges and set aside the puree.

Combine water, orange puree, sugar and agar agar powder in a saucepan. Bring liquid to a boil.

7 8 9

Remove from heat and skim off top layer of bubbles. Pour into flat tray to cool, before dicing them into cubes.

Before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of brown sugar on top of the creme brulee. Using a blow-torch set on high, burn the sugar with swift, swirling motions till the top has caramelised.

10

Serve creme brulee with diced mandarin orange jelly and forest berries.

The Food Journal • 19


seasoned to taste

Pineapple Mille Feuille with Mint Parfait

Plate from ToTT

Glasses from Modern Living; placemat from ToTT

Pineapple, in Chinese dialect, is a homonym for “arrival of prosperity” which makes this a particularly auspicious fruit for the Chinese New Year, and is often baked in buttery tarts filled with sweet pineapple jam. For expert home cooks, Pastry Chef Poh Lo gives an elegant rendition of a dessert made with honey pineapples, made simpler with store-bought pastry.

serveS 8 Mint Parfait • 750ml milk • 60gm mint leaves • 9 egg yolks • 225g granulated sugar • 50ml honey • 2 pcs vanilla pods • 12 pcs gelatine sheets, soaked in water till softened • 1350ml whipping cream Raspberry Coulis • 425ml raspberry puree • 102ml glucose syrup • 130g granulated sugar • 4 pcs gelatine sheets, soaked in water till softened Caramelized Sautéed Pineapple • 1 honey pineapple, about 500g, diced • 150g granulated sugar • 1 pc vanilla pod • 2 sticks cinnamon • 3 tsp lemon juice Filo Dough • 24 layers, filo pastry dough • Butter, for brushing • Icing sugar • 200ml pastry cream

Method

1

To make mint parfait, bring the milk to boil, turn off fire, and put the mint leaf into the milk. Soak for 30 minutes.

2 3

Strain off the fresh mint and continue to boil milk again for another 2 minutes.

Add in the egg yolks and sugar. Simmer at 82°c until mixture thickens, then add in the softened gelatine leaves.

4 5 6

Cool down the mixture with ice bath until 30°c. Then fold in the whipped cream.

Pipe the mixture in a terrine mould and freeze.

To make raspberry coulis, combine raspberry puree and glucose syrup in a saucepan, add in sugar and bring to a boil. Add in softened gelatine leaves.

heat till sugar begins to caramelise till it attains a golden colour.

9

Remove pan from heat and carefully add in the diced pineapples and sauté them for 5 to 7 minutes, till they turn golden and tender.

10

To make filo pastry, reserve 3 pieces of filo dough for each serving. Brush each layer with butter and dust with icing sugar.

11 12

Cut each filo sheet dough into 4cm x 8cm pieces. Bake all pieces till golden brown. Place filo pastry on a serving plate. Pipe pastry cream on top and place caramelised pineapples onto the cream, then place another layer of pastry on top and repeat with another layer. Finish off with a final sheet of filo pastry on top, and dust pastry with icing sugar.

Pour mixture into flat tray.

To make caramelised sautéed pineapple, place sugar in saucepan over medium

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20 • The Food Journal

Serve with mint parfait on the side.

Black Jello Drink with Basil Seeds and Guava Juice, topped with Tropical Marmalade Healthy, refreshing and easy to make, this drink is Chef Tan’s way of balancing out the Chinese New Year feasting. Tip: tadpole seeds and basil seeds are easily found at the Geylang Serai Market.

serveS 4 Ingredients • 200g black jello (or chin chow), diced • 12 tbsp tadpole seeds • 12 tbsp basil seeds, soaked in water • 12 tbsp guava juice • mint leaves to garnish Tropical Marmalade • 12 tbsp pineapple jam • 400g pomelo, peeled and broken into segments • 400g canned pineapple, diced • 1 large ripe mango, peeled and diced

Method

1 2

In a jug, combine black jello, tadpole seeds, soaked basil seeds and guava juice. Set aside to chill in a refrigerator. To make the marmalade, ombine pineapple jam, pomelo, diced pineapple and mango in a saucepan. Cook for about 3 minutes over low heat. Leave to cool.

3

To serve, top the guava juice mixture with marmalade and garnish with mint leaves.


seasoned to taste

Perfect Match

Enjoyed these recipes? Enhance them with flavourful teas and sumptuous wines pairings.

Pair: Yu Sheng Salad With: Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc Taste Notes: No Chinese New Year would be complete without yu sheng but frankly, it can get old in a hurry after the fourth or fifth day of “lo hei.” This fresh interpretation should switch the tempo a bit and the minerality and freshness of the Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc will balance the raw fish and dressing and then give lift to the peppery arugula and sweet baby spinach.

Pair: Tuna and Egg Canapé With: Barefoot Bubbly Brut Taste Notes: This is an absolutely delightful combination with a twist – taking the humble everyday potato chip and dressing it up with an exquisite topping of tuna salad and caviar. This calls for a delicate wine to pair with and the soft, sensual bubbles and refreshing acidity of the Barefoot Bubbly will prime the palate to receive this luxurious treat.

Pair: Buttered Focaccia Bites with Curryscented Mayo, Bak Kwa and Rose Apple With: Bontea Signature Collection Earl Grey Taste Notes: Citrusy, zingy and well balanced, the Bontea Signature Collection Earl Grey is best enjoyed with delicious creamy savoury dishes like this buttered bread with hints of spice and sweetness.

Pair: Roast Duck with Orange-scented Cous Cous With: Bontea Signature Collection Rooibos Taste Notes: An exquisite red tea blend, the Bontea Signature Collection Rooibos has a naturally sweet and smoky flavour that picks up on the roast flavours of the duck.

Pair: Peach Panna Cotta in White Fungus and Rock Sugar With: Bontea Signature Collection Rosehip & Hibiscus Taste Notes: Floral scented, fruity and with slightly sourish overtones, the Bontea Signature Collection Rosehip & Hibiscus brings out the fruit and sugar in this dessert, rounding it off with an acidic note.

Pair: Mandarin Orange Crème Brulee with Forest Berries With: Barefoot Moscato Taste Notes: A light, low-alcohol sweet and refreshing wine to end the evening. The Barefoot Moscato is made with a light and palate-cleansing spritz and the notes of citrus and orange blossom go perfectly with the orange custard and forest berries. The tropical nose will also have you reaching for another glass as you look forward to an auspicious Year of the Horse.

Pair: Seafood Pen Cai Cioppino With: Apothic Red Taste Notes: Festive seasons are an occassion to cart out the finest foods and the pen cai epitomises this – a pot full of delicacies symbolising prosperity. Given the Italian-American treatment with a tomato base similar to bouillabaisse, this rich seafood stew thus needs a robust blend in the Apothic Red. The enchanting wine is underpinned by the spicy notes of Zinfandel, the mid-palate fruit of Merlot, the dark fruit flavors of Syrah and the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon. Pair: Pineapple Mille Feuille with Mint Parfait With: Apothic White Taste Notes: Desserts need both acidity and sweetness to pair but by the end of the meal not everyone wants a heavy finish. The Apothic White and its blend of Riesling, Chardonnay and Moscato provides a luscious counterpart of the creamy pastry while the wine’s tropical aromas and flavors match perfectly with the pineapple, raspberry and mint.

The Food Journal • 21


Hot picks

HOME ESSENTIALS

THE LATEST PRODUCTS AND GADGETS FOR ENTERTAINING AND DAILY COOKING

Some Like It Bigger

It’s Philips’ latest and upsized air fryer, we refer to, with 50 per cent increase in capacity (you can now fit a medium sized chicken in!) and 30 percent faster cooking time. Unlike their classic models, the latest Avance XL Airfryer HD9240 also comes with digital touchscreen settings. Essentially, the unit uses fan-forced hot air and a grill plate to cook food with little to no oil needed. $539, available at major department stores, leading electronics stores and selected authorised dealers.

Green Cleaning

In with the New Year, and out with the old! It’s time to spring clean; why not make it easy, safe and non-toxic with natural cleaners? Bio Home Kitchen Cleaner is specially formulated with 100% plant based actives that are gentle on the hands and environment. It also removes grime and grease effectively from kitchen surfaces without leaving behind harmful chemical residues. Comes in two lovely scents: lemongrass and green tea, and lavender and bergamot. Its recyclable packaging has also won the Good Design Award 2013 conferred by the Japanese Institute of Design Promotion. $5.50, available at major supermarkets

Convenient Convection

The benefits of faster cooking times and evenly cooked food are always attractive for the busy cook. Cuisinart’s 17L Convection Oven lets you bake, broil and toast faster than regular ovens. The sleek brushed stainless steel appliance with a convenient 60-minute timer holds up to 6 slices of bread or a 12” pizza. Comes with an oven rack, baking pan, broiling tray and a removable crumb tray. Tip: With convection ovens, use shallow trays and cook food uncovered to allow effective circulation and get maximum mileage out of even heat distribution. $268 From ToTT

Culinary Precision

If you regularly chop small amounts of onions or garlic, but secretly wish there was a better alternative, you’ll find KitchenAid’s Food Chopper indispensable. The sturdy and compact unit comes with a razor-sharp blade that makes processing small amounts of food a dream and accommodates a wide range of food from nuts to crackers. Liquids may also be safely added from the top of the chopper while it is still running. Also comes with a second control option to puree your fruits and vegetables.

If you aim for professional results at home, the new Generation 6000 PureLine appliances will help you achieve this. Their latest range encompasses new aesthetics and technology. These include a new colour scheme in Obsidian Black and Havana Brown, and an intuitive M Touch user interface reminiscent of smart phones and tablet PCs. The user simply navigates the control menu by fingertip swiping and scrolling. Then there is also the multisteam technology on the new ovens that comes with a large volume cabinet and powerful steam generator. What this all means is shorter heating up duration and uniform steam distribution for perfect cooking results. In their coffee machines, the Cup Sensor feature automatically detects the height of the cup and adjusts its spout accordingly, eliminating the problem of coffee splashes and spluttering milk.

$199, from Mayer Marketing showrooms islandwide.

Price on application. Visit www.miele.com.sg for more information.

Make It Fast

22 • The Food Journal


Hot picks Slow Joe

Prefer to coax a fine brew out of freshly ground coffee beans? If you enjoy the process of manually preparing a cup of java, look to Japanese maker, Hario. Their classic drip coffee pot provides a foolproof way to brew rich and aromatic coffee, with a reusable flannel filter that ensures full extraction of the ground coffee aromas and flavour. Makes about 240ml of coffee in one pot. Tip: to properly store flannel filter clothes after washing, soak them in fresh water in a ziplock bag, and keep in the refrigerator. It prevents coffee bean oils that are trapped in the cloth from oxidising. $59, available at Heap Seng House and major department stores

Bloomin’ Scents

Add lovely scents and brighten up the room or office space with Mt Sapola’s range of aromatherapeutic scents that use only natural ingredients. For the office, the handmade solar flower by Barn & Potter captures and diffuses the therapeutic fragrance of 100% naturopathic essential oil without any flames, sprays, plug-ins or reeds. Scents include Rose, Olive and Chrysanthemum. For the home, let the fragrances of calming lavender, rose, vanilla sandalwood, or ginger lemongrass sooth your senses. Known as nature’s air purifier, these beeswax candles are great for those with allergies or sensitivities. $29.90 for Barn & Potter blooms, and from $32.90 for candles, from all Mt Sapola boutiques

Sing a Song of Sixpence

Clear the Air

Even without the smothering haze, clean air at home should not be taken for granted. For families with young children or even allergies and respiratory problems, there’s the Taiyo’s Air Purifier HEPA 25 that comes in a compact and portable unit. Among its many functions include a wide coverage area up to 30 square metres, an effective filter system that removes 99.96% of airborne germs and allergens, activated carbon filter absorbs also unpleasant odours and a photo catalyst filter and UV light further acts to eliminate bacteria. There’s even a builtin ioniser to reduce airborne germs and allergens. Plus point? The unit also comes in baby/sleep for quiet operation so you don’t get the noisy drone from a standard air purifier.

Pie birds, also known as pie funnels, pie chimneys and pie whistles, are devices that help to ventilate a pie’s crust and filling, preventing the crust from becoming soggy and the filling from boiling over. But you don’t need four and twenty blackbirds to do this, just one Tala Pie Bird that goes on top of the bottom layer of the crust. The science behind this baking technique is similar to cutting a vent in the crust but fans of this whimsical accessory believe that it’s the secret to a perfect crust. $11.50, from Bake King

For more information, visit www.taiyoasia.com.sg

The Food Journal • 23


Hot picks Fresh Flavours Daily

COMBI FUNCTIONS

Here’s taking pure and clean flavours to the next level. Tupper Brands’ range of TUPPERCHEF™ Inspire Cookware aims to make cooking healthier by using little or no oil and water. These work in a similar manner to combi-ovens, but at a fraction of the price. Key features lie in the moisture-lock glass lid and open/close valve options that seal in heat and moisture, allowing foods like vegetables, chicken and fish to cook in their natural juices or fat without water or oil, which in turn, retains a higher nutritional value. The cookware also comes with a stainless steel synchro-heat flat base for more even heat distribution and an easy-to-grip Bakelite handle that stays cool throughout the cooking process. They are also suitable for use on most heating hobs like the ceramic stove, hot plate, induction and gas stove. Comes in the following forms: casserole pot, fryer, saucepan, stockpot and wok.

Nothing beats the aroma of fresh coffee as a pick-me-up, topped only by a first sip of the steaming brown liquid. Cuisinart’s Grind & Brew Coffee Maker, one of the best in the market in our books, delivers both, and offers an easy way to get great coffee! The 12cup wonder automatically grinds the beans right before brewing to deliver the freshest coffee flavour. Also comes fully programmable with a large control panel. Tip: To save time, fill up the beans the night before and pre-programme to brew in the mornings. $388 from ToTT

Prices start from $216 for a saucepan, call 6285 3988 for purchase enquiries

Sake Snowman

Elegant with a twist in its design, this Syukidaruma sake bottle and cup set stacks up to form a snowman, and is handmade using traditional techniques in Seto City, Japan – a key area for ceramics in Japan. In the hands of designer Kaichiro Yamada who is a two-time winner of Japan’s Good Design Award, and also winner of the International Red Dot Design Award in 2010, a functional item transforms into a beautiful decorative table piece.

Nutrition Booster

$52, from Four&Twenty authorised dealers

ICE CREAM FRIDGE

Beko’s latest range of appliances include a cool refrigerator that also doubles up as an automatic ice cream maker. Simply follow a basic ice cream recipe, pour the prepped mixture into the ice cream making compartment, set it to the required mode and wait for delicious preservative- and additivefree results. The multi-tasking refrigerator also comes with wine rack storage and water dispenser function. $1,888 from various retail outlets including Courts Megastore, Courts Causeway Point and Courts Jurong Point

Start your day with a shot of pure nutrition! With the Hurom HU600 juicer, we’ve found a quick way to supplement healthy living. Hurom’s latest model comes in brushed stainless steel and redesigned silicone wiper blades that allow less pulp into the juice. Tip: prepare your fruit or vegetable juices the night before and store in glass containers placed in the refrigerator, to consume the following morning. We find that they still taste pretty fresh and keep us buzzed, when stored for up to two days. $928, available at major department stores

Party Bowl

Keep entertaining over the festive season as fussfree as possible, with this sleek stainless steel holder. Keeps your champagne bottles chilled and also doubles up as a punch bowl. $84, from Howards Storage World

24 • The Food Journal


Hot picks

STOCKED & STUFFED

THE LATEST FOOD AND DRINK ITEMS TO KEEP THE PANTRY PLENTEOUS

Super Fridge

Scenario: you open the fridge and realise that you have forgotten about that head of lettuce or bag of apples, and they have turned black or wrinkly. To address this, Hitachi has come up with an intelligent solution, using a Photocatalyst Preservation to keep food fresh for longer periods, and also retain the original nutrient levels. The Photocatalyst Preservation uses an LED light to generate carbon dioxide in the vacuum compartment that slows down the metabolic processes of refrigerated food. Together with the automatic temperature adjustor, food retains its original freshness without freezing. In an effort to conserve the environment, the new technology also combines innovations such as Eco Intelligent Control and Power Saving mode to run efficiently and reduce energy consumption. The smart refrigerator has been awarded 4-ticks energy label by the national Environment Agency.

The 1872 Clipper Tea Co. unveils a luxurious collection of oriental teas, Bâo, which takes its inspiration from precious gems. Comprised of three tins of teas, each unique blend features one of the three highlights sought after gems: Jade Osmanthus Oolong, Red Ruby Pearls and Mandarin Topaz Pu’er. The teas range from floral to fruity notes. Jade Osmanthus Oolong takes the mellow taste of Oolong and combines it with the seductive fragrance of the finest Osmanthus flowers, resulting in a flowery and slightly fruit tea with a fresh and delicate aroma. Tender young buds of the fragrant jasmine flowers are used in the Red Ruby Pearls for a distinctive floral scent and the regal Mandarin Topaz Pu’er is a blend of pu’er with flavourful orange pieces. Specially created to celebrate the Lunar New Year, the Bâo range is symbolic of treasures as well as the idea of abundance, making it the perfect drink to toast the occasion.

$4,799 for 644 litres refrigerator and $5,299 for 707 litres refrigerator, available at authorised dealers

$15 for an individual tin, available at selected retailers such as PasarBella – A Famer’s Market, TANGS Orchard and The Canopy Shop (Gardens by the Bay) Visit www.clippertea.com.sg for full retail listing

Bejewelled Blends

Glorious Greens

If like us, you must have your daily dose of super greens and fruits, you’ll be delighted to know that SuperNature’s produce delivery has been increased, and that their new flagship store is now conveniently located at Forum the Shopping Mall. Which means being able to enjoy regular restocks sourced from only organic-certified farms in Australia, United States and the region. Here’s what we’re loving: golden beets that are as nutritious yet won’t stain like their red cousins ($2 per 100g), super juicy and sweet Starkrimson pears that are perfect for salads or snacking and the recently added OrganicGirl range of ready-to-eat salads ($15 per box) comprising four variations. There’s even plans for a SuperNature To-Go Café. Watch this space for updates.

The Food Journal(FAp3).ai

1

11/29/13

4:33 PM

SuperNature, B1-05/09, Forum the Shopping Mall

Sweet, Spicy, Smoky

An extended product from the range of Jack Daniel’s whisky, their Tennesseestyle barbecue sauces are now available at Huber’s Butchery, in four flavours – Full Flavour Smokey, Smokey Sweet, Smokey Original and Hot Chilli. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee-style barbecue sauces, $13.30 each, from Huber’s Butchery

The Food Journal • 25


Hot picks Exclusive Pour

Craft Juices

A blend of mostly Merlot with the add-on of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chateau La Jorine 2011 – award winner of Médaille d’or Concours de Bordeaux 2013 – makes a faithful companion for grilled steaks or meat sauces. Available only at Luxury Gift Atelier, the wine also comes packaged in a gift box, with the option of customised names on the wine label. $159, with wine box, available at www.luxurygiftatelier.com

Health-friendly Condiment

Think you have to ditch the sauce bottles in the quest for better health? Not so. Up the flavour of your meals sans the high salt content with Wan Ja Shan’s USDA Certified Organic soy sauce with 25% less sodium than regular sauces. Rich in flavour and taste, it’s great for marinades and barbecue sauces, as well as seasoning soups, meat and seafood. $7 per bottle, available at Four Seasons Organic Market (Great World City #B206/07 and Parkway Parade #B1-83A), Four Seasons Gourmet Market (Marina Bay Link Mall #B2-49) and Rochester Market (Rochester Mall #02-16/24)

Along the lines of fruit being good for you, if fermented fruit juices were recommended daily servings, we would be happy to drink up. Easy to drink and refreshing, these newcomers to Cold Storage tempt the palate with apples, mixed berries and pear variations. The Gaymer’s Juicy Pear tastes like it sounds, with an aromatic nose of ripe pears. The Kopparberg Swedish Cider, in strawberry and lime, apple, pear and elderflower and lime flavours, is exclusive to the supermarket. From $4.95 onwards, available at Cold Storage

Ice Cream Home Delivery

With flavours conceptualised by well-known chefs, no less. Artisanal ice cream brand, The Inspired Chef brings together Daniel Tay from Bakerzin, KK Pang from Antoinette, Janice Wong from 2am:dessert bar and Willin Low from Wild Rocket to create one-of-a-kind flavours derived from childhood memories and palate preferences. There are a total of four. Tay’s Divine Chocolate Tart combines rich chocolate ice cream with sea salt and crunchy bits of butter crumble, while Pang’s Raspberry Cheesecake Rumble is a classic pairing of cheesecake ice cream infused with raspberry coulis. Wong’s Popcorn Avalanche harks back to her childhood memories and is rendered as a rich sea salt ice cream with caramelised popcorn with crunchy pecan. Low’s Double Peanut Fudge recreates the taste of his favourite childhood snack, ‘gong tng’ as a lavish peanut butter ice cream studded with peanut and brittle and dark chocolate fudge. Available via inspiredchefs.sg at $14.90 per pint. Minimum purchase of two pints required and delivery charges apply.

Premium Cuts

Whether you like it between bread, in pastas or with mustard and ketchup, tasty sausages are an infinitely enjoyable comfort food. But you needn’t always shell out big bucks for good quality meats in the example of Handwerker premium range of sausages. Available in four varieties – Smoked Gouda with Chicken & Beef, Chicken & Beef Cabanossi, Chicken Nuernberger and German Chicken Wurstel – these are high quality meats (not off-cuts with higher fat content), with natural sheep casing and chicken-based flavours, made by Singapore Food Industries (SFI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SATS. $6.95 (300gram/packet), available at NTUC FairPrice Hypermarts, NTUC FairPrice Finest Outlets & selected NTUC FairPrice Supermarkets

26 • The Food Journal


the FOOD Journal directory The best dining experiences and foodie retail outlets across the island, organised by location and type.

5 6

3 1

2

4

DINING 1. Fukuichi Japanese Dining Experience authentic Japanese flavours with the freshest fish and seasonal seafood specially air flown in from Shizuoka, at this restaurant that is on an expanse of over 4,000 square feet. The 150 seating capacity encompasses a Sushi Bar, Tatami Room, VIP Room and a Sake Wine Bar. 111 Somerset Road TripleOne Somerset #02-11/12 T: 6271 5586 Opening Hours: Lunch, 12noon-3pm; Dinner, 6pm-12midnight www.fukuichidining.com.sg 2. 10 @ Claymore A modern bistro grill and the hotel’s signature restaurant where flame-grilled steaks and ribs star alongside the popular “Plates of Pleasure”, an a la carte buffet concept and live cooking stations. Highlights from the a la carte menu are the Blackmore Full Blood Wagyu Beef with a marbling score of 9+, the ‘Claymore’ Grain Fed Australian Rib Eye, Tasmanian Free Range Rack of Lamb and Claymore’s Bread and Butter Pudding. 10 Claymore Road Pan Pacific Orchard, Singapore, Lobby Level T: 6831 6686 Opening Hours: Breakfast, 6am-10.30am (Daily); Lunch, 12noon-2.30pm (Daily), Dinner, 6pm-10.30pm (Daily); Brunch, 12noon-3om (Sunday) www.panpacific.com 2. Checkers Brasserie Enjoy daily themed buffets or a decadent Sunday brunch at this spacious restaurant that’s decked our in deep green and coral décor. 581 Orchard Road Hilton Singapore, Ground Floor T: 6730 3390 Opening Hours: 6am-11pm (Daily) www3.hilton.com

T: 6831 4605 Opening Hours: 7am-1am (Mon-Fri); 7am-3am (Fri and eves of PH); 9am-3am (Sat); 9am-1am (Sun and PH) www.marriott.com 2. Glow Juice Bar & Café Imbibe natural organic food and juices at this contemporary Singapore café featuring bright colours and minimalist design. 581 Orchard Road Hilton Singapore, Level 2 T: 6730 3397 Opening Hours: 11am-6pm (Daily) www3.hilton.com 2. Il Cielo Savour handcrafted pasta and cured meats using the freshest and finest organic ingredients from Italy at this semi-alfresco stylish restaurant. Other signatures are made-to-order Burrata mozzarella and pastas made using organic flours such as the rare kamut and spelt. 581 Orchard Road Hilton Singapore, Level 24 T: 6730 3395 Opening Hours: Lunch, 12noon to 2.30pm (Mon-Fri); Dinner, 7pm-10.30pm (Mon-Sun) www3.hilton.com 2. Kaspia Bar Unwind at this classy bar where contemporary art is the décor du jour. Wind down with fine whiskies, cocktails or a cup of fine coffee brew against the soothing backdrop of the hotel’s live jazz performances. 581 Orchard Road Hilton Singapore, Ground Floor T: 6730 3391 Opening Hours: 11am-1am (Daily) www3.hilton.com

2. Crossroads Café A perfect place to unwind in town, this sidewalk café serves a wide range of premium wines, and sumptuous local and Western cuisine. Signatures include their Wagyu Burger, Chicken Curry and Old School English Trifle.

2. Lawry’s The Prime Rib Singapore Tableside service with a flourish, prime USDA cuts and the famous spinning bowl salad (served on a bed of ice) are hallmarks of the original establishment in Beverly Hills. The same showmanship extends to this Singapore outfit situated in upscale Mandarin Gallery. The 6,500 square feet restaurant also offers a charming dining ambience in hues of brown, gold and champagne, with stunning floor to ceiling windows that offer a view of bustling Orchard Road.

320 Orchard Road Singapore Marriott Hotel

333A Orchard Road Mandarin Gallery #04-01/31

T: 6836 3333 Opening Hours: 11.30am-10pm (Mon-Thur and Sun), 11.30am-10.30pm (Fri & Sat, eve of PH & PH) www.lawrys.com.sg 2. Marriott Café Indulge in the freshest international buffet spread at this café, where chefs also take centre stage to whip up a culinary feast a la minute upon request. An array of seafood, Tianjin delicacies, Asian fare and premium meat dishes await the discerning diner, along with signature desserts like the Sticky Date Pudding. 320 Orchard Road Singapore Marriott Hotel T: 6831 4605 Opening Hours: Breakfast, 6am-11am; Lunch, 12noon2.30pm; High Tea, 3pm-5.30pm; Dinner, 6.30pm-10pm www.marriott.com 2. Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant Relish in award-winning culinary masterpieces that have garnered a faithful following since the fine Cantonese restaurant opened in 1995. Signatures include their Peking Duck, Stir-fried Lobster with Ginger and Superior Consommé and Spanish Iberico Pork Pork Shoulder, but don’t miss out on their delightful dim sum creations available on weekends. 320 Orchard Road Singapore Marriott Hotel T: 6831 4506 Opening Hours: Lunch, 11am-3pm (Daily); Dinner, 6pm-10pm (Sun-Thur), 6pm-11pm (Fri and Sat); Dim Sum lunch, 11am3pm (Sat and Sun) www.marriott.com 3. Peach Garden Chinese Restaurant A place where connoisseurs of traditional Cantonese cuisine may gather and partake in an ambrosial dining experience, Peach Garden Chinese Restaurant enchants patrons with a delectable spread of exquisite signature dishes served in fine dining style. Since their first outlet at Novena, they have expanded to include restaurants at Thomson Plaza, Orchid Country Club, 33 in The Executives’ Club (OCBC Centre) and Hotel Miramar, as well as Peach Garden Noodle House and Chinese Dining at Chinatown Point – as testament to the quality of their gastronomic offerings. Novena Gardens (Flagship) 273 Thomson Road #01-06 Novena Gardens T: 6254 3383 Opening Hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm (Mon-Fri); 6.30pm-10pm (Mon-Fri); 11am-2.30pm (Sat, Sun and PH); 6.30pm-10.30pm (Sat, Sun and PH)

4. Prima Tower Revolving Restaurant A reliable favourite in the dining scene and established since 1977, Prima Tower is the only other revolving restaurant in Singapore. The iconic landmark was built atop a grain silo and offers diners a panoramic view of the sea. House specialities include the much-loved Peking Duck and tasty Shredded Scallops with fish and egg white. 201 Keppel Road T: 6272 8822 Opening Hours: Lunch, 11am-2.30pm (Mon-Sat), 10.30am-2.30pm (Sun and PH); Dinner, 6.30pm-10.30pm (Mon-Sun and PH) pfs.com.sg

RETAIL 5. ToTT Store Catered to anyone who cooks, bakes or hosts, ToTT (Tools of The Trade), located on an expanse of 36,000 feet, comprises of a bistro, a fine food store, children’s corner, DIY baking counter and a retail sector. As one of the largest kitchenware and tableware retailer in Asia, they carry exclusive cooking, baking and hosting-related merchandises such as the Jamie Oliver kitchen utensils, Cuisinart and SousVide Supreme. Two on-premise cooking studios – one a demo studio and the other a hands-on studio – offers cooking classes on a regular schedule. 896 Dunearn Road 01-01A, Sime Darby Centre T: 6219 7007 Opening Hours: 11am-9pm (Mon-Fri); 10am-9pm (Sat, Sun & PH) www.tottstore.com 6. Kwong Cheong Thye Retail Outlet A veteran in the food and manufacturing services industry, the brand’s retail outlet offers a myriad of ingredient options for the foodie, from festive-related yu sheng and mooncake ingredients, to seasoning, condiments and pre-mixed sauces. No. 61-63, Lorong 27 Geylang Off Sims Ave T: 6748 0128 Opening Hours: 9.30am-5pm www.kctsoya.com

The Food Journal • 27


LIVING

Chef Emmanuel Stroobant probably requires no introduction. Over his course of 14 years in Singapore, the Belgian-born chef, together with his wife, Edina Hong, has set up a proliferation of successful restaurants under the Emmanuel Stroobant Group, with their latest coup at Quayside Isle – opening four up restaurants on the idyllic settings of Sentosa. Describing the initial love affair with the food business and how that passion has evolved, he says, “I was first drawn to the atmosphere and incredible energy in the kitchen during a busy shift. Then, I discovered the unlimited possibilities of creating and fell in love with cooking and being a chef – as a leader, someone who leads a team, motivates, inspires and mentors. That is the part I enjoy most today.” Along with a long list of awards, including becoming a member of the prestigious international association for luxury hotels and restaurants, the Relais & Châteaux Group, the Group has expanded from its early days to house Picotin, Brussels Sprouts, Rocks Urban Grill+Bar, Sque Rotisserie & Alehouse and Blue Lotus. “Aside from my passion for food, I have a strong interest in health and wellness as well. We also have two yoga studios (Updog Studio), as yoga is a huge part of me. And last year, we started to operate the canteen and café at Stamford American International School too,” says Stroobant.

28 • The Food Journal

Chef

at home Photography by Ivan Joshua Loh, Pigs Can Fly Outfits from 6FiveBarcode

Celebrity Chef Emmanuel Stroobant takes us on a tour of his River Valley apartment while dishing out expert tips on organising a great kitchen space.


LIVING

We have divided the spaces into individual private room space for each member of the family, and yet have enough common space to be able to enjoy a good conversation over the dinning table. Q What do you think are the most important factors that turn a house to a home? A Big bright spaces and not jeopardising practicality for design. Bathrooms and kitchen spaces are often beautiful but not always practical. I also believe that each little step we take to promote recycling, energy saving, sustainability is important. We tend to take the earth for granted. Q If you could change one thing about your home, what would it be? A terrace or an outdoor space is missing. Just to have a quick coffee or to do my yoga practice. A small terrace would have been amazing.

While not occupied with restaurant business, the 45 year-old calls an apartment in River Valley home, having moved in since October 2006. The set up is equal parts home and workspace, with a substantial area dedication to the kitchen. “I rarely spend a lot of time indoors. But when I do, I will look at some stuff to cook with the kids or work to do on the computer,” says Stroobant. Q On days when you don’t have to be in the restaurant, how do you spend your day off? A I will start with an early yoga practice and join the family for breakfast. Most of the time I will go for a bicycle ride along the river with the kids in the morning. Lunchtime could be a good time to go out with the whole tribe. Afternoons are often spent at the pool with my two daughters. Then, we have an early dinner and we sleep as early as possible. On my days off, I also don’t mind watching a movie at night or having friends for dinner. Q How did you settle on this apartment? A Location was the first factor, as we have been in the same neighborhood since 1999. Size and number of rooms (there are 3+1 rooms) were also a consideration as we were planning to start a family.

Q How would you describe the design concept of the home? A I love BIG rooms. My dream house would be a loft as space is essential. We are blessed with the light because we have floor to ceiling windows on both floors. I try to keep a minimalistic approach, yet it is a house with young kids. I like a comfortable space, as it is important to come home and not return to a room after a long day at work. Q Does the house decor reflect you as a homeowner, why or why not? A It is certainly reflects our personal taste as my wife designed it. The kitchen space takes a good 50 percent of the living room; obviously I love cooking at home. It is equipped with all the toys that a chef needs and we designed a table that can be integrated in the kitchen bench to gain space when needed. The same table extends to the living room and can sit up to 10 guests. We try to use organic component such as wood and stones. Q Favourite spot in the home, and why? A I always sit next to the kitchen, facing the river. I can enjoy the view while working and I am always one step away from the coffee machine

Q What is a key feature of the home décor? A We hide most cabinets and doors to integrate them into the walls. It makes the space look bigger and cleaner. Of course, the equipment of the kitchen such as professional fridges makes the house look like an extension of the restaurant.

Q Can you share with us 5 tips on maintaining a clean and organised kitchen? A FIFO (first in, first out): in terms of ingredients entering your fridge or pantry. Invest in some stackable airtight square container. It will keep the fridges tidy and organized. KISS: keep it super simple: it is not about cooking a 3 Michelin star dinner every day, it is about enjoying great times around the dinner table: I have had an amazing dinner with simple bread, cheese and wine and great friends. Think Practical: often people buy appliances, kitchen equipment that is not required. Think about your personal life style: how many people do you cook for everyday? It is just breakfast. If yes, focus on basic stuff like a good coffee machine or a great toaster. There is no need to have the latest combi-oven that will never be used but looked and sounded great when shopping. Look at professional equipment: you will be surprised to see that some professional equipment (fridges for instance) are not more expensive than the one designed for the house plus they also look impressive! Lastly, I recommend plenty of table space: often we have a nice kitchen and no room for a single chopping board. Plan ahead, design lots of cabinets, storage space, shelves and nice tabletop space. Q What’s a simple, quick and delicious dish you prepare when you have guests over? A Cous cous. The soup can be prepare ahead and just needs to be reheated and the cous cous itself cooks within 5 minutes.

The Food Journal • 29


culture

MASTERS OF CRAFT

Five design artisans and business owners interpret daily objects into intelligent solutions that add aesthetics to daily living.

The Temporium (temporium.com. sg) located along Dunlop Street is also carrying the itty bitty chairs but only the original ones in natural wooden finish.

In all of them, you’ll see that the underlining thread that runs through our work is this emphasis on hand-made items and processes like paper folding and exploration of materials like concrete and boiled leather.

Q You’ve launched your brand in Tokyo, and also participated in the Milan Design Week in March 2013. Tell us about the collection, experiences or response? A The overall experiences at both exhibitions were great. Although there was not a lot of business in terms of sales, there was a better sense of what people loved and responded more towards. In particular the paper-pleated objects were rather popular. It’s amazing to look back at how certain products seemingly grow a life of it’s own after its conception. Actually, I’ve been wanting to move on from the paper pleated stuff but I keep getting drawn back to it; so much so that I am now making paper installations a staple service that Desinere will offer.

Q Where can readers purchase your creations? A At the moment the concrete paperweights are sold online via a local designer and maker website – Haystakt For the furniture pieces, Standard of Living located along Kandahar Street is selling the coloured itty bitty rocking chairs (exclusive only to them) as well as the Monolith side tables.

Q What are you working on now? A Currently, I’ve been working on several new pieces, one of which will be made in Japan that explores the use of sand casting in brass. Collaborations with fashion designers, a terrarium designer and sculptor are also in the works, so hopefully Desinere will be able to showcase some of these new creations by early 2014.

Melvin Ong Founder and Designer of Desinere

“The underlying thread that runs through our work is this emphasis on hand-made items and processes like paper folding and exploration of materials like concrete and boiled leather.” – Thoughtfulness and a conscientious research process are trademarks of Desinere products.. Q How did the name Desinere come about? A My design philosophy can be aptly described by the word ‘Desinere’ – the Latin root of the word silence, also meaning ‘stop’. I came across this word in a book by George Prochnik (In Pursuit of Silence) and it was such an inspiration and apt description of how I approached my designs.

Q Complete this sentence: My designs are... A ... a quiet reflection of things and people around us, I was very conscious that I wanted to maintain this sensitivity in my work as it is rather easy to dive head on and lose yourself in the process of ‘doing’. Taking a step back from the busyness and noise surrounding me and having quiet moments to hear myself think is something I try to adhere to. I think by doing this it helps me to create objects/ products that are honest. It’s probably not quite a design principle, but the idea of this has been so crucial to me when I strive to create. Q Tell us about the latest items in your collection? A My ‘latest’ items are more about of fine-tuning of the current collection that I have. For example, the Rok paperweight that I’ve been making was first shown in Milan (Salone de Mobile) in April 2013. I recently managed to get it ‘retail-ready’. Like-wise for the Mappa paper pleated tableware, I’ve been working on a ‘mark 2’ version of it where it will be more durable and practical.

30 • The Food Journal


culture Our design methodologies revolve around understanding needs, behaviours and cultures to create tangible values that are better for people, businesses, and the world.

Kimming Yap Creative Director and Founder of Creativeans “In our design process, we study user needs, behaviour, culture and so on to help us design products that are intuitive and pleasurable to use.” – Creativeans find practical design and branding solutions for businesses.

Haystakt and Naiise. Q They say “simplicity is a complicated process”, does it apply to your design approach? A Indeed, a simple design is not as simple as it seems. In our design process, we study user needs, behaviour, culture and so on to help us design products that are intuitive and pleasurable to use. We also do a lot of hands-on prototyping to get a first-hand understanding of a product’s form and functionality.

Q What is Creativeans about? A Our brand ethos can be found in our company name Creativeans. It represents us as a community of creative individuals who share the same passion and attitude towards creativity; where we strive to break status quos and norms while mixing art and pragmatism to concoct great designs.

and florist where an ordinary table top is transformed into a workspace catered for their specific needs through inventive accessory attachments. Characterised by geometrical structures that are functional yet ambiguous, each design serves a different utility when attached above, below or placed on the tabletop, providing users different ways to adapt, declutter and organize their workspace according to their needs.

Q What guides your work? A Our design methodologies revolve around understanding needs, behaviours and cultures to create tangible values that are better for people, businesses, and the world. Q Do you set out to create a certain number of designs each year? A We launch a new collection every year and there isn’t a fix number to the number of designs. We prefer to let an idea take its time to mature; quality over quantity. Q Tell us about the latest items in your collection? A Our latest design - Adapt Series

from the Artifeq collection is inspired by observation of traditional trades in Singapore where their professions are identified by iconic accessories integral in their workspace. Instances of such trades are the seamstress, cobbler, key maker

Q Where can readers purchase your creations? A In Singapore, our Artifeq collection is available in The Shop @ The Art House. Some of our designs can also be purchased on online design shops such as

Q You’ve recently held an event, Treasures of the Little Red Dot, at the Esplanade. Any plans for another exhibition? A Treasures of the Little Red Dot at Esplanade was our first local showcase and we were encouraged by the great response. We are in the midst of planning a new edition of the event for 2014, updates will be available on the website Treasures of the Little Red Dot. Q What keeps you happy? A Freshly brewed coffee in the morning, energetic discussions with colleagues and clients at work, and a proper dinner with loved ones in the evening. Q What are you working on now? A We are currently developing new products for our Artifeq collection. We are also working on ad-hoc projects in the fields of electronics, beauty, F&B, interior and event curation.

The Food Journal • 31


culture

Through reminiscing about our childhood memories, for example, by bringing back our simple childhood games, we hope people can slow down their pace occasionally to look back and discover that you can find happiness easily in your daily life. Happiness is just simple.

Tan Li Ling Creator and Owner, WhenIWasFour

“People tend to chase after more material goods and they are not so easily satisfied… Happiness is just simple.” – WhenIWasFour taps on nostalgia to capture familiar childhood icons in their work. Q Tell us about WhenIWasFour? A We want to bring back childhood memories, like old places and objects to people, before they disappear completely in a rapidly growing urban city. When technology is advancing so quickly and the pace of lifestyle is so fast, happiness seems to be drifting away at the same time. People tend to chase after more material goods and they are not so easily satisfied. Through reminiscing about our

childhood memories, for example, by bringing back our simple childhood games, we hope people can slow down their pace occasionally to look back and discover that you can find happiness easily in your daily life. Happiness is just simple. Q What guides your design process? A WhenIWasFour is more free form, childlike and whimsical. Basically there is not much of a proper design principle in it.

The things that I design are mostly things that I like. In my mind, there is already a vision of how the end product will look like. Thereafter, it’s about the process of crafting it. Q Tell us about the latest items in your collection? A Milk Pack Cushion, our latest item. The idea was from a Japanese tourist who thought that our five stones necklace was a tetra milk pack. I feel that through interaction with customers, friends and family, you can get a lot of inspiration from them. Q Where can readers purchase your creations? A We often go to Public Garden flea market once a month. Readers can also purchase our pieces through our online shop: www.wheniwasfour.com We are also available at retails shops like Shinnpark (The Central, #01-43) and The Good Old Days (JEM, #02-18). Q They say “simplicity is a complicated process”, does it apply to your design approach? A In this case, I think it is only applicable in our process of product creation. We often need to find ways to simplify our methods in making those products, but at the same time we have to keep the necessary details too. Finding ways to execute our design into a physical product often takes more time than we expect.

32 • The Food Journal

Q What keeps you energised? A Travelling! Be it a short or long trip, I feel that travelling can really give you more inspiration. But realistically, of course I can’t afford travelling as a routine. I also love to eat! Simple things like a really nice and hearty meal or a nice dessert makes my day! Q What are you working on now? A We will be launching a few new designs like totes printed with food images and a new snack cushion.


culture

The most beautiful thing to me is the sight of nature. Therefore, the products must inherently showcase nature in its simplest manner.

the hot sun as you cycle in style. This is also the design philosophy of the Phoenix Original bicycle concept. Q Where can readers purchase your creations? A It can be purchased from our website: www.bamboobee.com.sg. Our retail points will be established around December 2014 and a bigger after sales service will be opened soon too.

Sunny Chuah

Designer, Bamboo Bee

“Personally, my stand is that design is separate from the technology.” Natural materials take precedent in their designs, such as using honey to reduce cracks in each bamboo bicycle. Q Tell us what Bamboo Bee is about? A A company that uses green material for designing products that can present the beauty of nature and sharing these values – fun, love, hope. Q What’s a fundamental design principle when you create? A The most beautiful thing to me is the sight of nature. Therefore, the products must inherently showcase nature in its simplest manner. Q How does honey-infused bamboo help strengthen and prevent cracks in the material? A As it suggests, honey is infused into the bamboo’s pores and fibre. This will replace the water content inside and ensures that there will be minimum evaporation process taking place. This will thus prevent the bamboo from cracking.

Q Could you share with us more about your description “the world’s first tech-based handcrafted bicycles”? Does that mean the design is first based on a technology principle? A Nope. Personally, my stand is that design is separate from the technology. Technology is static in a sense that it allows a product to perform a function safely and without any compromise. On the other hand, I believe that design means to delivering the values and beliefs of the creator into a form that can be understood and felt. Otherwise, it will be like any ordinary product. Q What’s new in your collection? A The latest item from Bamboo Bee is the Phoenix Sonata. The design philosophy behind this is to enjoy nature as you cycle. It is about celebrating the summer season, admiring the surrounding’s rhythm and basking under

Q What poses a challenge when you design? A Most of the time, I feel that having a preconceived mindset can complicate the design process by adding more layers into it. The most important thing to keep in mind is the one single intangible value from my product that can be transferred to my clients. Q In the midst of busyness, do you have a simple pleasure or routine that energises you? A I am a 2-wheeler guy. When I’m feeling blue or in need of new ideas, I love to hop on my bicycle or motorcycle. They inspire a sense of freedom, and to be a person who dares to dream. Q What are you working on now? A I am tying the different elements of the business together more seamlessly. This will strengthen the business as we are preparing to share more designs soon.

The Food Journal • 33


culture Q Complete this sentence: I believe that design should... A ... serve function, but also invite and reward both curiosity and our innate desire for meaning and beauty. Q Tell us about the latest items in your collection? Or the story behind any favourite piece? A We just completed our project and show, Goodcraft, featuring 30 limited edition Goodcraft show aprons and eight pieces of one-off aprons customised by eight creatives that tells of what they do and who they are. But the project we are most attached to is Good Sweat #1. This comprised 100 limited edition handkerchiefs with the phrase “做什么 都好,用心做就好” (whatever you do, do it with all your heart) embroidered on it.

James Teo Founder, Neighbourgoods

“Neighbourgoods is founded on the belief that the good things in life are often not far away from us. Our products aim to inspire and be a reminder to open our hearts, eyes and ears to see and hear this.” – Teo’s design philosophy stems from everyday objects inspired by the beauty and honesty of things close to home and close to the heart. Q What’s the idea behind Neighbourgoods? A We love taking walks around our neighbourhood, and often find little things around us that amuse or amaze us with their ingenuity, beauty or meaning. So, when we decided to spin off a product label from our graphic design studio, ampulets,

Q Where can we buy your creations? A Unfortunately, all the handkerchiefs in the existing Good Sweat series are currently sold out, and there’s only one

we knew we wanted to make objects that would serve as reminders that good and beautiful things, people, or places are not far away. If we would just slow down, open our eyes and look around us, we will find them. The name Neighbourgoods also captures something we promise to try to do - work with other creatives in Singapore.

Goodcraft show apron left. However, for those who enjoy collecting art, some of the eight, one-off customised Goodcraft aprons, are still available. You can view these art aprons and the inspirations behind them on www.neighbourgoods.sg Q In the midst of busyness, what do you do to unwind? A I run. Running is the best time to crack design briefs! And visiting the bookshop retail therapy in its best disguise! Q What are you working on now? A We are planning to make a book about God with some creatives, as a simple reminder that our gifts are from above.

Calendar

FROM NOW – 5 JAN Essential Eames

Explore the life and work of Charles and Ray Eames, best known for their timeless furniture creations and an influence that extends to architecture, exhibition design, toy making and film. With over 100 artefacts, the exhibition will showcase a number of rare and never-before-seen works and images. Highlights include original paintings by Ray Eames; a special chair designed for Pope John Paul II; interactive objects from the original Eames’ Mathematica exhibition explaining complex mathematical concepts through simple forms. Visit from now till the end of the exhibition to stand a chance to win an Eames chair and other merchandise. Tickets available from the Marina Bay Sands box office. Where: ArtScience Museum www.marinabaysands.com

8 – 19 JAN M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2014: Arts & The People 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the Fringe Festival featuring first time performers, returning international acts and the best of the Singapore Fringe. One of the local highlights this year, Majulah Singapura – Tree Project is a meaningful artwork conceived by Hiroshi Sunairi where

34 • The Food Journal

Alecia Neo (Singapore) - Unseen

14 JAN Buono Terra Italian Gastronomic Journey of Veneto

seeds of Hibaku trees (trees which survived the bombing of Hiroshima) are distributed to everyday Singaporeans who are invited to grow them. The work will also include an exhibition and film screening of interviews with participants around the world. More local events include The Art of Strangers, bringing together 15 artists and 15 audience members in one space in the spirit of sharing and story-telling; Unseen by Alecia Neo, a large-scale installation about sight and sightlessness at ION Art and The Face Daily, a fictional newspaper drawn from Facebook feeds, specially created for the Fringe by Ong Kian Peng, and which will be distributed daily to the general public. Where: Various locations www.singaporefringe.com

Embark on a culinary journey through Italy with Buono Terra! January shines the spotlight on its northeast region, Veneto, through an exquisite 5-course dinner with wine pairing ($178++), including red and white wines such as Amarone di Valpolicella, Breganze Bianco, Bardolino and Soave, to mention but a few.  Where: Buono Terra Call 6733 0209 for reservations

14 – 18 JAN 20th Singapore Straits Regatta Into its 20th year, this prestigious sailing event will once again see participants race against sailors from the region in nine races over four days, between the destinations of Singapore and Batam. The Regatta is organised by One°15 Marina Club and supported by Changi Sailing Club, Marina at Keppel Bay, Nongsa Point Marina & Resort, Raffles marina, Republic of Singapore Yacht Club and sanctioned by the Singapore Sailing Federation. Where: One°15 Marina Club www.straitsregatta.com

16 – 19 JAN Art Stage Singapore 2014 Now into its fourth year, Art Stage Singapore 2014 presents exhibitions curated to fit into the theme of contemporary landscapes of each country or region. Entries include those from Southeast Asia, Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. In addition, curated sales exhibitions are a new component of the event, in addition to its general fair booths. Also, gain fresh insights into the local arts scene with the largest presence of Singapore-based art galleries. Where: Marina Bay Sands www.artstagesingapore.com

25 JAN St Jerome’s Laneway Festival Soak in live music experiences at one of the most well-loved indie music festival. As always, the event unearths a diverse array of talented music acts from over the world, post-punk band, Savages (UK), indie pop-rock group, The Jezabels (Australia) and electronic musician, XXYYXX (US). Where: The Meadow Gardens by the Bay singapore.lanewayfestival.com


culture

Get out of Your Comfort Zone

From self-drive trips to mega festivals, the brand new year is a great time to plan ahead for travel resolutions and adventures. used to, but can turn out to be greatly rewarding for your body and mind.

Resolution 3: Discover the Local Culture of a Country

Travel gives us the chance to learn new things, gain new adventures and even challenges to discover new ways of living. It transforms mere book knowledge into eye opening experiences about how people live, work and play. It’s a little like experiencing different flavours of the same activities. All you need to do is keep the barriers down, be sociable to people you meet and embrace the culture of the country you’re travelling in. We’re not saying throw caution to the wind, but to be receptive to new experiences. We recommend the Signature Picnic Experience at BOH Tea Plantation at Cameron Highlands Resort. In an exclusive collaboration with BOH Plantations, the

resort has crafted a special experience, which takes guests through a guided factory tour of the BOH tea factory at Sungei Palas and ends with a private picnic surrounded by the sweeping views of endless tea valleys. Call 6836 2455 or email travelcentre.sg@ ytlhotels.com

Resolution 4: Carve Out a Work Life Balance

If you travel frequently for the job, it’s possible to turn the situation into moments to spend time with loved ones. Business trips, especially of longer durations, are ripe with opportunities to create a semblance of work life balance. Add a leisure element by extending your stay and asking a partner or friend along to for some personal time away. But of course, maintaining a professional front is key. It’s always good to check with your company to ensure that no one unknowingly runs afoul of policy.

Las Vegas

Resolution 1: Travel Solo

Resolution 2: Completely Disconnect

And of course, this will be an opportunity to put your resourcefulness, resilience and independence to the test. Challenges are best conquered alone – after all, why should we share bragging rights?

By ‘letting go’ of our digital reliance (or addiction!) in our lives, we can more fully immerse ourselves in our surroundings to truly enjoy a getaway. Meet new friends face-to-face, or rediscover yourself amidst Mother Nature. Either way, it’s an experience that will take some time getting

Getting out of the country just by ourselves may seem a daunting prospect, especially for the ladies. While most of us dread even the idea of having a meal alone, solo travel is a far bigger feat that is rife with concerns about safety, loneliness and cost. The upside of going backpacking across Western Europe or taking a gambling tour for one to ‘Sin City’ Las Vegas, is that one does not have to worry about the preferences and needs of other people. Plan your holiday for whenever and however you like, without having to be limited by fussy eaters or itinerary options that might clash with yours.

For a complete mental break during your vacation, leave your smartphone, laptop and other Internet-connectables back home where they belong. Not being able to stay in touch with your loved ones or missing an important e-mail is a terrifying notion for many, but it is necessary to unplug and take a real vacation every once in a while. This means skipping the WiFi available on cruise ships or at hotels and restaurants, and also not being able to find your bearings through Google Maps.

BOH Tea Plantation at Cameron Highlands Resort

The Food Journal • 35


culture You need not always book expensive flight tickets or plan elaborate itineraries to enjoy time off and away. Spend your dinner hours touring your own city, and you will discover that hidden finds you might have previously overlooked before. Weekends are an especially good reason for taking a short holiday getaway: drive or take a ferry trip to neighbouring destination, or even unwind by taking a hotel ‘staycation’ just around the corner such as at the recently unveiled Village Hotel Katong. The 229-room hotel offers a great location to explore the Peranakan heritage of the Katong and Joo Chiat area. www.stayvillage.com

Harbin Ice Festival

Resolution 9: Plan, Plan, Plan Resolution 5: Travel with Heart

Going abroad does not always have to be just for retail therapy and relaxation. If flying off for an adventure overseas and doing at least one good deed both fall within your list of to-dos this New Year, a volunteer trip would be killing two birds with one stone. Unpaid volunteering will not only connect you with likeminded people within the philanthropic community, but also make your travels more meaningful. As the late American humourist Sam Levenson said, “As you grow older, you will discover that you will have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others”. There are plenty of non-profit organisations within Singapore that organise amazing travel experiences combined with opportunities for unpaid contribution. Projects such as teaching, wildlife conservation and community development activities are great ways to hone your interests and professional skills while at the same time, make a difference. To get started, search out organisations like Habitat for Humanity or Singapore International Volunteers for short to midterm overseas volunteer placements. www. habitat.org.sg / www.sif.org.sg

Resolution 7: Take A Road Trip

Road trips are one of the best ways to really experience a country in your own leisurely time. Tip: Australia, with its amazing landscape and myriad experiences to be had, is a good way to start. Imagine cruising on your four-wheeler across the picturesque Barossa Valley, one of their most established wine regions, past the cellar doors of premium and boutique gems like Whistler Wines or Two Hands. Or winding through the terrain of Adelaide Hills touring the shops, cafes and pubs on Mount Barker’s historic Gawler Street, and tasting local cheeses at Udder Delights. Best part? www. southaustralia.com

Resolution 8: Live in the Moment

Whatever time you have to spare outside of work, is time for exploration and discovery. We all understand that life is short – which is why our precious moments for leisure should never go to waste. Breaks are generally meant to relax, refresh and recharge, and this can be achieved with even the smallest doses of vacation and travel.

Resolution 6: Experience a Mega Festival

From iconic events to all-out flamboyant spectacles, the mega festival is probably the anti-thesis of a technophile generation glued to their phones and computer screens, encouraging like-minded individuals to converge and celebrate a common occasion. We’re talking millions of people who flock to a destination to witness and be part of a spectacular event lasting days. Think the samba parade during the Rio de Janeiro Carnival taking place on 28 Feb, or on the more family-oriented end, the Harbin Ice Festival from 5 Jan to 28 February. Being one of the biggest ice and snow festivals in the world, it remains a cultural event for artists and fans to experience the tradition of ice lanterns. www.rio-carnival.net / www. icefestivalharbin.com

36 • The Food Journal

Self drive in Barossa

Typing up an itinerary is the first and probably most exciting step you’ll take when planning for the big trip. A little planning will go a long way – personal itineraries play a crucial role in ensuring a seamless, enjoyable vacation. This is especially so if you are unfamiliar with the place you’re visiting, or intent on exploring more than one country, city or town.

Try drawing up comprehensive but flexible ‘timetables’ that go by the day, inclusive of important information such as addresses, telephone numbers and map directions to places of interest and accommodation. Make it easy with free travel apps like TripIt.com or the latest Mosey.com, both of which help compile travel data like flight confirmations, maps and lodging information, which are then immediately accessible on smartphones.


Beko Smart generation special feature

The management team of Thakral and Arçelik A.Ş

Mr Teo Wee Kiang, Senior Vice President of Digital Info Technology Pte Ltd

Chef Palma, invited from Italy conducting a live cooking demo using Beko ovens

Beko innovative product on display

Beko Drumming Chef entertaining all the guests

Mr. Levent Çakıroğlu, CEO, Arçelik A.Ş

Mr. Levent Çakıroğlu and Mr Hakan Bulgurlu, Assistant General Manager-Sales, Arçelik A.Ş with our beautiful Beko brand ambassadors

launch in Singapore on 12 Dec 2013 at Garden by the bay, Home Appliances Powered by Smart Generation Powered by Smart generation, Beko is proud to introduce our innovative range of eco-friendly refrigerator, washing machine, dryers and dishwashers from Europe. All Beko product is 100% made in Europe. Beko is now available to consumers in Singapore.

Beko

, a leading global home appliances brand from Europe, is now available in Singapore. Beko is a consumer-focused brand offering eco-friendly appliances that incorporate innovative technology, functional design and efficiency that impact the daily lives of the Smart Generation of today. Beko is the main international household appliances brand of the Arçelik Group, the third largest white goods company in Europe, and is currently sold in over 100 countries worldwide. Beko is the top selling refrigerator brand in Western Europe* and it is ranked 2nd in freezer and 3rd in washing machine, dishwasher and cooker segments. This Beko collection, which blends functionality, aesthetics and technology while providing smart solutions has been brought into Singapore in collaboration with Thakral Corporation Ltd through its wholly-owned Singapore subsidiary, Digital Info Technology Pte Ltd. (DIT). DIT is the exclusive distributor of Beko in Singapore.

BEKO innovative product of the year

• Ice-cream Making refrigerator: A market first and only, this feature allows consumers to make preservative- and additive- free ice cream in the comfort of their own homes. • Rice Fresh refrigerator: Features a compartment offering optimum conditions for the storage of rice, a key staple for the Asian family. This refrigerator has also been awarded “Innovative Product of the year 2012” by Household Electric Appliance Research Institute. • Low water consumption dishwasher: Beko dishwashers have the lowest water consumption in the market. Just 6 litres of water when washing 12 dishes, and is extremely quiet at just 43 decibels.

“Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asia present great potential for Beko and our launch in Singapore will strengthen our position here while extending our international presence,” said Mr Levent Çakıroğlu, President of Koç Holding Durable Goods and the CEO of the Arçelik Group. “Globally, Beko continues to meet and even go beyond the expectations of consumers with high-quality products featuring technology developed by our R&D capabilities.

Mr. Levent Çakıroğlu, CEO, Arçelik A.Ş. (Left) and Mr. Inderbethal Singh Thakral, Managing Director, Thakral Group

“In Singapore, Beko is launching an extensive range of innovative products that appeal to different needs. I am sure that with our collaboration with Thakral Corporation Ltd ,Beko will become one of the leading brands in the Singapore market within a short period of time, as it is in other global markets,” said Mr Levent. “We are very impressed by Beko’s consumer-focused and eco-friendly approach,” said Mr Teo Wee Kiang, Senior Vice President of Digital Info Technology Pte Ltd, which is responsible for bringing the Beko brand into Singapore. “As a socially responsible company, DIT is demonstrating its commitment to the environment by bringing in to Singapore Beko’s offerings which have been designed with green-thinking and innovation.”

Our hosts of the launch, Benedict Goh and Wong Li Lin

Homecream™ Create home-made ice-cream with this refrigerator. DN16222

Mr Tim Luce, Country CEO of Courts Singapore, said, “As the preferred retailer for Beko’s debut in Singapore, we are very excited to give our customers the opportunity to be amongst the first in the country to own Beko home appliances. These innovative, functional and welldesigned products, which incorporate green-thinking, complement the lifestyle of young families, and we anticipate an enthusiastic response when they officially launch in our stores.”

*West Europe covering Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, UK.

Beko appliances are available from various retails outlets including Courts Megastore, Courts Causeway Point, Courts Jurong Point, Courts Ang Mo Kio, Mustafa Centre and Lucky store (Katong & Holland Village). For more information, please visit our website: www.beko.com.sg or call Beko Hotline 64387423 Beko’s International Awards and Achievements

AquaDrop™ Uses 6 litres of water for 12 set dishes. DSFN6839

Ricefresh™ Keep your rice fresh & healthy with this refrigerator. CFF6873GR


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The Food Journal Issue 1