Cook-ins and Eat-outs.

Blogging has taken a bit of a back-seat owing to recent set-backs. I’d love to share a bit more but now isn’t the time. Perhaps in a few months’.

There’s been a lot of things going on since the New Year for Flo and I. Most recently, I came back from a short 5-day trip to Hong Kong with Mum which was planned months ago to celebrate her birthday. Also, I’ve been very happy regularly going for yoga to build my strength up. I’m pretty flexible to begin with so sliding back into it has been enjoyable and not overtly tiring although I think I overdid it yesterday with two infra yoga classes, then over hydrated myself so ended up feeling crazy sick with a bad bout of headache and vomiting. Luckily, it was nothing a cold compress, panadol, and a good night’s sleep couldn’t do to make the discomfort go away.

Also, Flo and I have been discussing about getting a dog. We don’t want to rush into it though since we still have quite a few holidays lined up so we’ve decided to try fostering instead. This way, we’ll be able to figure out whether we can truly commit to taking care of a dog. We’re currently going through the protocol in order to foster Kawaii, a black mongrel from the shelter. Flo met him while I was away and I’ll meet him this coming weekend. I’m so excited!

Back-tracking to a earlier in January, we had Les and Zen over for a spot of home cooking together. Flo and I were gifted with a pasta machine for our wedding from his grandparents and we were keen to try it out. So we made the dough from scratch using semolina, flour and eggs.

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And while we were busy with the pasta, Zen was in charge of making his foie-gras poached pear and walnut salad, while Lesley made the seafood sauce.

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Oh and for Christmas, Oma Rennekamp gave Flo this wooden stand for drying pasta. So practical and so thoughtful!

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We made more like a tagliatelle but it was quite thin. It was really tasty though with the wonderful seafood sauce Les whipped up.

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Not quite a fan of foie-gras but the poached pears were en-pointe! Flo actually enjoyed the foie-gras with the salad.

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And of course, some cheese with honey and extra poached pears on the side.

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Nothing like sitting back after working together in the kitchen, and spending time with friends over a delicious meal.

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I’m really thankful for friends like Les and Zen who love food as much as Flo and I do. More than that, I love the positive energy I get from both of them and with the struggles of the last month, they, together with Flo, my parents, and Pearl have helped lift my spirits, even without realising.

Flo and I, together with Mum and Dad, also discovered an eatery walking distance from home that serves pretty dope Shanghainese cuisine. It’s called Tall Girl Chinese Restaurant and the family who run it are really tall!

We tried the Shredded Beancurd Salad appetiser which is so addictive! The next two times Flo and I went, we had to order it as well.

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It’s refreshing, and has nice bite and texture. It’s spiked with lots of garlic which I constantly forget about whenever I’m happily indulging in mouthfuls of this salad, and only until after the meal, when the taste of garlic refuses to leave, do I feel a tinge of regret.

Stir-fried Dou Miao (Pea Shoots) with Garlic is very competently done.

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We weren’t too crazy about their Xiao Long Baos seeing how we’ve been spoiled by Din Tai Fung’s delicately thin dumpling skins. The ones here are more rustic, so a little on the thicker side and the filling has a stronger porky taste.

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Their Minced Pork Lamian was tasty and the noodles had a nice bite. Loved the abundance of fresh, shredded cucumber that not only provided crunch, but also lifted the otherwise heaviness of the dish with all the meat.

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Now these babies, were the highlight of our meal. These Pan-fried Potstickers were delightfully crisp at the bottom, and had a juicy filling that highlighted the sweetness of the pork.

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The meal for four of us cost less than $40 if I remember correctly. Dad almost couldn’t believe it but obviously, he wasn’t complaining. In fact, it made him quite excited at the prospect of a return trip.

Another little gem we found in the basement of Katong Shopping Centre is this gelateria called The Humble Scoop. Now, everyone who visits this area knows of Birds of Paradise which has a big following with their botanical flavours, Instagrammable wall, and homemade thyme cones.

BoP sits right outside our home so if we’re there at the right time, there’s no queue but more often than not, there’s a huge line and to be honest, I don’t like the service at BoP. The youngsters serving often seem happier talking and joking amongst themselves and I wonder if that’s the point – extend the serving time and the line forms. And as we all know, Singaporeans love to queue up because a queue must mean something good. Of course, I won’t deny that BoP does serve pretty good gelato but hop over a couple hundred metres and you have this little gelateria serving deliciously creamy ice-cream, also made from scratch.

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I won’t say that The Humble Scoop is a competitor to BoP since the flavours here make a spin on local, familiar flavours – think Salted Coconut Gula Melaka, Milo Dinosaur, In-kueh-dible… But rather than joining the masses willing to wait in line for a scoop, I’m more than happy to visit this shop for my sugar fix.

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