Seeking the Rainbow has been taking up most of my time of late, but I realise how important as well it is to make time for family. The second half of last week was well spent, and Florian and I bid goodbye to the weekend spoiling ourselves. In fact, just being with family has spoilt me with wonderful, meaningful memories.
Last Thursday morning, I spent a few hours with my sweet niece, who was our flower girl at our wedding. She’s a great ball of energy! She’s now doing competitive gymnastics, and still finds time to go swimming, learn ballet and learn the violin. She’s proving herself to be quite the budding baker as well!
We made cut-out cookies from my shortbread recipe, and stamped our fondant to decorate them. We used quite a few Christmas-related cutters even though we’re still about 2 months away. Still, never too early to get ready for the Christmas season – which, by the way, is my favourite holiday!
Friday we celebrated Grandpa’s belated birthday at Cherry Garden.
Grandpa just turned 87 at the beginning of October but he and Grandma were away in Malaysia that period. He’s still strong as an ox and sharp as a knife. Of course, he’s slowing down a little but considering his age, he’s walking well and looking good!
Ordered a Dim Sum sampler each. The vegetable crystal dumpling with truffle was delicious as usual. I swapped the siu mai for a second crystal dumpling with dad. He was more than happy to have an extra little pork parcel topped with a baby abalone. The har gow was perfumed by the sweet black garlic wedged in the middle.
Light, fluffy baos encasing a savoury bbq pork filling. Very well done!
Wasn’t so impressed by the hot and sour dumplings because they leaned too much on the sweet side. DTF’s rendition is much better.
Seafood congee had ample, high-quality seafood – thick chunks of sea bream and large, fresh prawns. This was very comforting.
It was really nice being able to bring Grandma and Grandpa out for a nice lunch since we don’t see them very often. They return back to London tonight and it’ll only be next year that we’ll see them around Chinese New Year. I know that them coming this time was to visit me (and my burgeoning belly). They were so excited about the triplets. And their early trip back next year was to see the triplets. Of course, now that circumstances are different, they’re back just to see me and visit relatives in Malaysia.
Saturday morning, after a lovely late morning walk along MacRitchie’s boardwalk (no treetop walk this time), Florian and I made our way to Dempsey for lunch. We were dressed in ‘activewear’ – far too casual for the now posh posh area. Como offered us an outdoor table but we couldn’t bear to eat hot food in the sweltering heat. So we decided to try Culina Bistro instead.
It turned out to be an excellent choice.
Service was great and even better, the food was all en pointe!
We treated ourselves to some oysters. We had the Boudeuse No. 4 ($4.50 ea) from the David Hervé selection and Perle Blanche ($8 ea) just to compare both from two ends of the price spectrum.
Boudeuse No. 4 was obviously smaller of first glance. It was flavoursome and fresh, slightly briny and sweet. Texturally, it was quite compact. Still, delicious. Perle Blanche was exceptional, with its creamy texture, delicate sweetness, and plump, supple flesh. Compared to the boudeuse, it wasn’t as salty. Loved this one. I also loved that it was huge – in this case, size was an extra bonus because there’s more to savour.
Florian and I ordered the next two dishes to share:
Kabocha pumpkin roasted with quinoa, spinach, cashew nut and yoghurt ($24).
Know me and you’ll know that pumpkin anything and I’m in! Especially if it’s kabocha. I have a big soft spot for kabocha. This salad didn’t let me down. The pumpkin was incredibly sweet and nutty. I enjoyed the crunch of the cashews, and the tartness of the yoghurt that imparted and added creaminess to the sharp, bitter arugula. It was simply dressed in olive oil which was apt since anything fancier or more complicated would have threw the entire salad off balance.
Bouchot mussels marinière in white wine, garlic and parsley broth, served with fries ($39).
These were so fresh and moreish! The mussels were naturally sweet and plump. The wine-herb broth was perfect for soaking the complimentary bread they served us at the start of our meal. The bread, by the way, had a lovely chew although I’d have liked it even better toasted for some crunch. The fries that came with this dish was also well executed – lightly salted, roughly cut, and not oily.
It was a pricey meal for the two of us but I think Florian and I generally watch our spending well, so we figured that this lunch was well-deserved. We decided that Culina may be our go-to whenever we want to treat ourselves a little and eat high-quality food for a decent price. There were quite a lot more things on the menu that we’d like to try so you’ll likely see more of Culina Bistro food appearing here from time to time. 🙂
After our fill, we hopped over to Huber’s to pick up some meats for a family BBQ dinner with our BBQ maestro, Florian R, helming the BBQ grill.
Slabs of Argentinian Ribeye for the hubs and Daddy Tan…
A thick hunk of pork chop for the grandparents (since grandpa doesn’t take beef/lamb. He’s never liked the smell of them). Mum also had some since this was ample to go around. In fact, we all managed to sample the pork and Dad had a good nibble at the bone.
I roasted some vegetables with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and Florian also grilled some Saba (Spanish Mackerel) for Mum and I. I flipped them over after I took this photo. They were a beauty skin-side up. I was too lazy to retake the picture.
The fish was cooked perfectly and the flesh was juicy and supple. So much yum!
I forgot to bake up the German pretzels to mop up all the meat juices but I’ll do it next time when we have our next BBQ round. It was a nice dinner and we managed to clear almost all the food save for half a piece of fish. My family comprises of pretty small eaters so all this protein was more than enough!
Nearly every weekend since being out of hospital has been eventful with Florian. We’ve been making the most of our time together doing things that make us happy either with friends, with family, with both, or just two of us alone. It’s been very meaningful and it has definitely brought us even closer together. I treasure these moments. And I’m looking forward to more of them ahead! ❤