Monthly Archives: March 2012

Bistro Petit Salut

As one of the restaurants in the less boisterous part of Holland Village in Chip Bee Gardens, Bistro Petit Salut is more commonly known as the no frills version of sister restaurant Au Petit Salut. While the bistro greets you with its minimalistic decor and plain dark oak-brown wooden walls and furniture when you walk in, it is anything but when it comes to the food. Bistro Petit Salut is certainly no nonsense and spares no compromise when it comes to serving good quality authentic French cuisine.

Al-fresco style seating arrangements are also available if enjoying the lush greenery and the humid weather is what you would prefer. Drivers need not fret for there is ample parking around the compound and estate without having to walk too far.

We came here for the Set Lunch at $28++ one Monday afternoon and there was a healthy stream of customers once more reaffirming the draw factor this French bistro holds especially since it was only the first day of the week.

Warm complimentary bread were served in a basket once we placed our orders. It was hard not to compare the bread with the one I had at Bistro Du Vin 4 days ago and unfortunately, this one did not quite match up but I dont usually turn down warm bread with good quality salted butter so the three of us polished off this basket quite easily.

For our Entrées, we decided on the “Salade Lyonnais” which was a fresh and delightful serve of greens mixed with croutons, tomatoes and a single poached egg.

Recipe: Browned Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Coconut Cookies

Finally a baking post and some quick updates from me!

No I have not been lazy and simply eating out. I missed bake of the week last week as I was down with a nasty cold which left me sneezing profusely and a runny nose that refused to stop for 4 days consecutively so I was not about to go near the oven and spread my friendly germs around.

Apart from that, I’ve cut my hair! Like really short… first time since I was 10 when it is at a length which cannot be tied. I was forced to cut it because of the massive amounts of hair I have been dropping every single day due to the sickness and the side effects of all the meds Ive been taking so goodbye to my long straight hair and hello to my new short bob! New hair for new beginnings. I actually do love my new hair. Feels so light and refreshing and dries so quickly after washing. It was funny how I was trying to grab hold of my hair after shower to squeeze it dry but there was nothing to grab hold of.

So that’s all from me…

And back to my bake of the week!

I decided on an oatmeal cookie this time simply because I missed oatmeal. I picked up the oatmeal habit back in Adelaide where cold mornings were made a whole lot more comforting with a bowl of warm oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon and some baked apples. And the container of quick oats sitting on my kitchen table was just too convenient. Furthermore, ever since I tried the ‘browned butter’ concept for my Browned-Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies with Cream Cheese Filling, I really wanted to use it again and so this recipe was born- Browned Butter Oatmeal Cookies! Throw in some dark chocolate chunks and coconut bits for the added crunch, this cookie is destined for great things.

I would advice using an ice-cream scoop if you want bigger cookies but I used my tablespoon measuring spoon because I liked the cute little rounded shape it gave. Sorry for the lopsided one on the far right. If your cookies are the same size as mine, this recipe will probably yield 16- a number just nice for the family. Double the recipe if you want to give them to friends as well.

10 Things You Should Know About Food Bloggers

I recently came across this post by Not Quite Nigella about 10 Things You Should Know About Food Bloggers and I just had to share it because it is so TRUE!

And sadly if you do know me in real life, I think many of you will find that most if not all of the 10 things hold true for me. Let me know if you find yourselves nodding when thinking about my eating habits as you read on!

1. Be prepared to eat early. Like a reverse Vampire, we love the light as more light means better photos. Eating dinner at 4pm? Sure, no problem, the light will be good then. Similarly, you’ll also find us seated near the window more often than not as the light is better there and we only use Flash in extreme circumstances or in closed blogger-friendly company.

2. We’re shy and hate to be stared at, especially while we are taking photos. However if it’s something exciting, we retreat into a haze and snap away uncaring. That’s called the “Paparazzi Brangelina moment”, when we descend into a frenzy of snapping.

3. Most people react to romantic lighting positively. Not the food blogger. We will utter things such as “crap, not this moody, romantic lighting again. What about my photos!”. Because as you know, it’s all about the photos ;)

4. We love to share food. The equation is straightforward: the more food shared, the more food sampled and the more we can write about.

Restaurant Week ’12: Bistro Du Vin (Shaw Centre)

One of the more popular little French bistros in Singapore, Bistro Du Vin by the Les Amis Group is not only widely known for their authentic French cuisine but also for maintaining the true charm of a real bistro in France with their setting and furnishing. This place has been on my radar for quite some time given the much raved reviews from many friends. Needless to say, we were psyched when we managed to snag two places which had been freed up at the last minute for Restaurant Week 2012.

As one of the restaurants along the stretch of Scotts Road, just opposite Pacific Plaza, the maroon-red painted doors were hard to miss. Stepping inside the bistro makes one feel like he/she has indeed travelled to France. Bistro Du Vin had done a great job in recreating a true French experience with the marbled table tops, quaint paintings lining the walls, a mini ‘cellar’ at the corner with a wide selection of wines to offer for accompaniment of the food and of course not forgetting the iconic striped red, blue and white French flag hanging from the ceiling. The vibe was casual and jovial, nothing too fancy.

Though the place was small, the mezzanine arrangement meant that more tables could be added without patrons feeling too cramped and I was amazed at how many people the bistro could hold at its full capacity though of course I was not too pleased at being able to reach across the next table. But who is complaining about the squeeze if the food is as charming as its setting?

Since this was my first experience with Restaurant Week, I was very fascinated with the A5 sized menus they had nicely printed on thick paper for us to choose from. The flip side of the page had a very French looking chef with his chicken who were both wearing a toque. It reminded me a tad of the Ratatouille movie back in ’07 and I was definitely feeling all ‘Frenchy’ after that and ready to order!

Before our food arrived, we were served with complimentary bread and my do the French definitely know how to make their bread. This baguette loaf was warm and oh so comforting to eat with a large slab of butter spread on it. Crisp on the outside but the holey and uneven center was soft and delightful. We were so happy with our bread, we decided to ask for seconds which the waiters kindly obliged.

Yan Ting 宴庭 @ St. Regis

Primed as one of the more authentic Cantonese restaurants, Yan Ting provides a top notch dining experience in one of Singapore’s luxury 5 star hotels on Orchard Road at the St Regis.

The restaurant located at the corner of the second level of the posh and luxurious hotel has a hardly noticeable entrance but walking through the doors gives one a totally different experience. Greeted by a beautiful chandelier hanging from the middle of the ceiling, the main dining area is not too big but cosy and comfortable. The tables are adequately spaced apart with plush arm chairs for the extra comfort while dining. It’s obvious that Yan Ting strives for quality experience instead of quantity where restaurants try to squeeze as many tables as possible into a given space. Booth seats are also available for couples for that extra privacy which is a nice touch. This is also precisely why reservations are a must given the limited number of seats available.

While Yan Ting is well known for their weekend dim sum brunch buffet at $98++ per person, I personally wanted to spend a little less first and decided to try out their ala-carte dim sum menu on the weekdays instead.

The Steamed Shrimp and Scallop Dumplings $6 were the first to arrive at our table and it was a great first impression to the remaining dishes to come. Both the scallops and prawns were fresh and the portion generous. The translucent starch skin on the outside did a perfect job at holding the ingredients of the dumpling together without being too heavy and thick. With the added parsley leaf and orange roe atop the dumpling as garnishing, this was definitely both an aesthetically and taste pleasing choice.

Next was my dim sum staple- Steamed Crystal Shrimp Dumpling $6 and this was good! Perfect prawn to skin ratio and the dumplings were beautifully wrapped with obvious skill given how fragile thin the skin was. One of my favourite Har Kao places to date. It pleases me when dim sum places get their staples right.