Dubai in 23rd-28th sep 160

Opportunities do not come with their values stamped on them.

Dubai in 23rd-28th sep 245

so when a tiny bird of hope perched itself on my cluttered table top, I seized it by the tail. Made my trip to Dubai and was instantly blown away by the immensity of room for expansion with this stroke of luck.

Dubai in 23rd-28th sep 128
Baking at the villa was an amazing experience and only increases my wanting having a spacious kitchen with an island insert and a gargatuan convection oven.

Dubai in 23rd-28th sep 127

Right now, I'm just hoping that everything works out fine. Lots of things to settle and affairs to iron out.

Dubai in 23rd-28th sep 179

Stepping out of our comfort zone


Stepping out of our comfort zone

Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 040

It took one last trip to our homestay restaurant Waruku to realise that with it's recent success, has saw a severe dip in quality of it's food. Battered and disappointed mostly with the mediocracy of the food we once hailed excellent. We took flight with nothing more than an awkward sayonara.

And made a move we did. Tetsu, our choice of replacement out of desperation after a major tidal craving for japanese food hit home.

Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 047

Like a little boy, the bf excitedly entered the restaurant almost at a little jogging pace. Being the first customers on a sunday, we were greeted with much enthusiasm by all the service staff as we scampered down the long dining coridoors to the open area at the back of the restaurant. With sunlight streaming in from the large window panes, the entire place exuded this spacious airy feel that stimulated the appetite. Hence it didn't take us long after perusing the well-designed menu to make our choice.

Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 051

I went ahead with Course A( $35.00), a flurry of assorted dishes that I wished showcased the capabilites of the kitchen all in a nutshell. Kicking start the meal was vegetable sticks in a teacup served with a spicy chilli sauce and glorious creamy japanese mayonaise. This was a refreshing starter and I lapped up the accompanying sauces like a voracious puppy, chomping down on the carrot sticks like a rabbit would.

Next off, the appetisers were plated up. Presented in an sublime artful way, I almost felt a little dainty as I sliced thru the crab meat tofu with the tiny spoon. How rare. The Crab meat tofu was unpretentiously excellent. The soft crabmeat delivering a creamy texture whilst the century egg slices on top providing a slight savoury touch to the quivery tofu. The other appetiser, the Swordfish tataki was again another source for delight. The exterior of the fish inheriting a slight crisp factor after a quick sear on high heat, giving way to it's soft interior that retains a slight pink rawness. Doused in a light vinegarish sauce (ponzu sauce) showered with chives, I took an immediate liking to this course and it certainly did emerge a winner in opening up a ravenous appetite.
Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 054

Whilst I was busy nibbling off the exquisite portions of my 6-course meal, the boyfriend's Rosu Katsu in stock set ($26.50) arrived at the table. Presentation wise, it was stupendous, taste-wise, it was a notch higher. With a bit of heat hailing from the pepper flicked onto the crisp crust of the pork slices, I was intoxicated by the tenderness of the flesh and the sweetness of the broth.

Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 055

The Sake Harami Sashimi ( $22.00) was certainly of superior quality, the white marbling of fats streaked across the cross section amounting to a fair bit of melt-in-the-mouth delight. The scoring of the skin providing an edge to it's texture and demeanor.

Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 058

The next course that enthralled was the Sushi rolls. With a fair bit of soft shellf crab (my guess) stuffed into the visually stunning sushi and encrusted with crunchy sesame seeds. It was a shame I didn't quite take to this one as the roll quickly disintegrated into shattered bites scattered across the plate as one tried to sink my teeth into it like a divider. Perhaps the interior could use a bit of wet binding ingredients to improve on its texture.

Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 063

And before you knew it, it was time for the mains. Before the meal, I had opted for the Kushi-tem instead of the Kushi-age as I was curious to find out whether the tempura style here was done any better than that in Waruku. The set entitled me to a total of 5 predetermined sticks, the shrimp, scallop, pork fillet, pumpkin and mushroom. And as I picked up my first stick, the unassuming mushroom, I held my breathe and with a gentle motion, bit through the crunchy exterior. The verdict was out...

Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 065

Truth of the matter is, the kushi-tem alone warrants for another visit to Tetsu. The earnest mushroom in itself displaying the quality of the batter and the chef's mastery in heat control and time management. Needless to say, the entourage of sticks were all freaking delicious. With a multitude of sauces for dipping, chilli sauce, jap mayo, white pepper and the usual tentsuya, one was spoilt for choice. Most commedable were the scallop and the pork fillet. The former still fresh and tender despite it's gorgeous battered coating and the latter displaying such a kind tenderness it's tasters.

Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 067

And just like a wedding dinner would end, the noodles concluded the meal. This however was a star on it's own rights. The Inaniwa Udon (hot) was unlike anything I've ever tasted before. Lucious and smooth with an almost lady-like posterior, slurping it down was akin to teasing a imposing beauty at a hotel lobby. Now I understand why some people talk about their food as if they are women *nudges Brad*


The last course, invariably dessert was an orange sherbet. Let's just make things clear, this was so beautiful I felt compelled to publish a few more shots. Keeping my boyfriend's hands off the dessert was a challenging affair though, since he had a penchant for tangy icy desserts. This was right up his alley and he basked in it's beauty and it's enlightening flavors with every spoonful.


Almost a little too soon, the boyfriend ordered another round of strawberry sherbet to satisfy his unappeasable appetite. Pretty in pink, it teased, it laughed at all the right times, winked and it left.



Stepping out of our comfort zone into another. Let's just say the score is Tetsu -1 Waruku - 0. You'll certainly see me going back to Tetsu for more.


163 Tanglin Road
#03-18 Tanglin Mall
Singapore 247933

For Reservations :
Tel : (65) 6836 3112

Still mad about you

Altitude dining: Jaan par André

After all this time, I still dream about you, still think about you. Still want you and need you by my side.

You're still the one.

Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 012

We all had our doubts about this whole setup. The expensive connotations, the chi-chi artful expressions on the plates and most of all wary of the unsatisfactory portions. But as we set down restfully in our chairs with the entire world at our feets, our problems from the previous night dissolved into the thin atmosphere, we tasted value and soul in every morsel meticulously arranged on the plate. The food was beyond expectations, nudged above the bold red line by the gentle thump of the Pouilly Fuisse as it pulsed through our blood veins.

Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 014

Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 004

The meal came off to a good start with the introduction of bread rolls on a silver platter. Free flow, we each had two in a single seating. Ripping thru the crusty exterior into the aromatic tender innards, we savoured each bite with a generous layer of butter. Nothing short of top quality to say the least. Nibbling down the accompanying grissini sticks (in squid ink and parmesan flavors), I felt a tad like a anorexic rabbit, but a very happy one at that. They were flavorsome especially after dipping the the accompanying eggplant dip.

Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 001

Appetisers soon arrived in fashion. Articulate pieces of art set against white backdrops of their humongous plates. Kudos to the waiters who are able to handle these heavy artifacts with ease. The Tartine de tourteau effiloche (citrus scented stone crab effiloche on ratte potato confit and fresh herbs with lukewarm potato mousse) was undeniably coordinated in terms of taste but varied so much in textural contrast and colors that with every delicate bite (i mean really small since the portions are well controlled), your senses are sent on a whirlwind journey, akin to wine tasting. One slurp of the potato mousse in the middle, and I was sucking down the rest like a baby. so good...

Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 011

His Panache De Fruit de Mer was a stunner to look at and combined elements such as edible pansies with mini calamari on toasted brioche with delightful cubes of fish stock jelly scattered all over the plate. Almost arrogant in terms of presentation, it scored a home run with the boy.

Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 009

Till this point of time, I was beginning to feel that perhaps this experience was much needed to awaken the sleeping beauty of my taste buds and tantalize them once again. It was all worth it. I swirled a bit of the cool and crisp french-bred Pouilly Fuisse in my mouth and swooped it down my throat. Slumping back in my chair, I heaved a sign of contentment. With that, the mains arrived at the table. Once again, my eyes popped at the sight of the colorful plates; Gambas aux Popcorns. I could never deny popcorn, not in a cinema and not even at a high class restaurant. Intrigued by the bold pairing of popcorn with seafood, I was drawn mostly to the crisp yellow components on the dish.

Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 019

Without a doubt, the course was nothing short of amazing. With a most unglamorous move, I shot the entire ravioli parcel in my mouth, flicked my tongue, and with an audible bang ( only to me), warm sweet corn puree seasoned lightly with salt filled my mouth. The pasta done to perfection had an almost slithery texture to it and was incredible when eaten with the the flood of sweet corn juices. Nonetheless, the pancetta wrapped shrimp achieved star status in my heart, combining the likes of salty crisp pancetta wrapped around a succulent firm prawn.

The Joue de Kurobuta Grille was replaced with a lamb saddle as the kitchen had run out of Kurobuta. This was nonetheless done to perfection. The boyfriend even described the experience as 'teasing a hot babe', and he relished every forkful of the tender flesh with lust.

Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 022

For desserts, we had the "Tarte au citron" and the Chocolate de la Domaine D'origine. The former retained a structure akin to a carousel ride and did indeed display such fun notions as well. With the inverted commas in place, the kitchen got away with presenting the conventional lemon tart in an unorthodox fashion. Mini churros sticks stood up high held by their thick lemon curd roots. A heap of pink campari- grapefuit granite filled the centre of the plate, providing this provocative hint of bitterness. I wished the churro sticks had been a little crispier with a more generous coating of cinammon sugar ; but that was just me.

Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 025

The chocolate dessert scored flying colors with the intensely flavored chocolate ganache titilating the palate, the milk marmalade ice cream soothing the heat generated from the intense chemistry and the accompanying vanilla bean dusted wafer providing a much needed textural contrast.

Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 028

Washed down by the finalement of our coffees, I for once was glad at my choice of restaurant for the special occasion. With impeccable service (aside from the hush-hush tones of the service staff), a stunning view combined with graceful cuisine; I silently wish I could afford to visit the place once in a while. If only for the wallet constraints...

Jaan + tetsu +house of sundance 031


level 70 swissotel
Reservations: 6837 3322

Apple of my eye

Apple of my eye

Being the drama queen that I usually am, our non-existant meeting on our 2nd yr anniversary blew up into a tragedy of epic proportions beginning with me bursting into tears of frustration as I trudged home from my workplace in the middle of orchard. I told you that I was unable to love in the generosity and enormity in the likes of God's love, I was human after all. Your work commitments and full time dedication to the job left me feeling lonelier than ever. Empty inside, I turn to the alluring comfort of food to fill the deep well inside of me. In the end, I was left feeling satiated but with a struggling heart feeling more neglected than ever. Apparently, there was nowhere else my heart could turn to. I'm still yours.

Happy 2nd year anniversary babe. Guess you can't have things sweet everytime yes?

TWD flaky apple turnovers 006

on a related note, these were the Flaky apple turnovers meant for this week's TWD as chosen by Julie of Someone's in the Kitchen. Mine turned out hideous probably due to the incinerating heat wandering in the kitchen that caused the sour cream dough to be so difficult to manage. Otherwise, the results were pretty good, with the pastry being flaky and tender as guaranteed. Brings me back to the fond memories of my aunt's mince pies at christmas. The simple yet eloquent apple fillings tossed in sugar and cinammon emerged wonderfully soft and aromatic, it's tartness cutting thru the sweet pastry with every bite. LOVE.

TWD flaky apple turnovers 017

yes... and babe, you are still the apple of my eye.

Food tasting @ District 10 Bistro


Food Tasting @ District 10 Bistro


Picking up the pace, I pitter-pattered my way to the entrance of the bistro. As I navigated the windy streets linking Newton MRT to Monks Hill and finally to Windstedt Road, I wiped a drop of sweat of my brow. Apparently, I had misjudged the distance... BADLY... some words of advice to those thinking of taking a stroll in: Enter from Bukit Timah Road. It's so much nearer!

That aside, as I trudged into the compound, desperately performing some last minute composure in an effort to make myself seem presentable to the other tasters (i doubt it matter anyway as it was more likely they were here for the food and not some paltry side kick of a dining companion), I was treated to the sights of a beautiful wooden verendah with all the charms of al-fresco dining complete with hidden cubbyholes for that extra privacy. WOW. that's one red tick from me. Perfect for booze rendezvous under the night skies with lively friends or even a single drinking partner, it was no wonder the tables were packed and crowded with opened bottles of every shape and size.


The D10-jito ($12) was a lovely start to the meal. A real fire-extinguisher, this put me at ease instantly with it's breezy flavors combining the likes of mint, lime and raunchy rum. The latter could have been more intense in my opinion but that's just the alcoholic in me speaking.

Soon after settling down in the high-backed wicker chairs (rather comfortable), the parade of dishes began. Starting with appetisers, the food strutted their stuff on the shimmy white platters, where the photographers and die-hard food advocates proceeded to blind them followed by a frenzied murder thru devouring.

The Deep Fried Calamaris and Tiger Prawns ($10) were certainly a sight for sore eyes. Alright, I profess my love for the deep fried. oh how sinful... these were good with a crisp coating of batter that on the downside, somehow didn't manage to adhere to their seafood counterparts that successfully. The garlic aioli dip sounded fancy but lack omph in the taste department.

The Selection of Traditional Cold Cuts ($14) on the other hand was delightful and I imagined would have gone down well with a chilled bottle of crisp white wine. Slightly clueless as to what I was picking off the platter due to the dim lightings in the area, I nibbled on a bit of parma ham, chewed on a slice of salami, gobbled down a piece of roasted chicken breast and spied on the brittle pieces of toasted ciabatta. All yummy.


Selection of Traditional Cold Cuts

The District 10 Salad ($12) was every bit a spokesman of the restaurant, composed of a mountain of rockets lettuce,marinated mushrooms, walnut, Feta Cheese and roasted Roma tomato in balsamic dressing. This could easily satisfy any rocket fanatic. Pity I wasn't feeling the cow in me that night...


D10 Salad

Moving on to the furthest plate across the table, I edged my fork towards the last remaining duck scroll perched on the platter. Dipping it in the sweet chilli sauce, I pressed my teeth into the crackly fried rice paper. There was no love in this dish. period. Homemade duck spring rolls ($10)

The next item on the chopping block (literally) was the Chilli Crab Pizza. Deep fried soft shell crab over a bed of sweet chilli crab sauce and melted cheese on a crisp pizza crust. Need I say more? With just one bite, I turned into an instant fan. Nevermind the skeptical diagnosis spouting from the others... I was in a world of my own and in this world, the chilli crab pizza was my best friend and such a sweet talker might I add.


Chilli Crab Pizza

In comparison to the fashionable entrance of the appetisers, the main courses fared poorly in terms of flavor and the wow factor; failing to capture the excitment of it's masters with it's unimaginative combinations.

The Rigatoni ($18) for instance was a let-down with the penne well overcooked and the supposed show-stopping wagyu beefballs failing to impress with it's lack of seasoning.


The Country style roasted Baby back ribs ($24) scored with it's tender flesh and smokey sweet marinade. The chunky steak cut fries on the side were excellent and I relished in the fact that these were served instead of the skinny fries.


Last but not least, the Beer battered fish and chips ($19) was dressed to impress, served on a news printed parchment with the words 'FINANCIAL TIMES' blasted across the top, I adored the old-school feel to it's makeup. The real deal however was mediocre with fresh fillets covered by a soggy beer battered crust. Paired with green-pea mash and tartare sauce, I was caught sneaking spoonfuls of the former long after giving up on the lack lustre fish. Addictive is the word.


Clearing our palates of savouries, our tummies prepared for the battle of the sweets. It was dessert time. And first to the table was the American Bramley Apple pie ($9) which suffered considerable damage after all the flash photography. The scoop of icecream that used to be, ended up a slush of vanilla soup on the side. Buttery crust, check, warm apple fillings, check, oh my gosh.. what is that jello looking thing on the side. Butterscotch set cream... mmm.. reminds me of coagulated condensed milk. *shakes head*


The Tiramisu with Mocha sauce ($9) was alright given it's light texture, could have done better with a higher proportion of mascarpone cheese to cream though. Oh.. please don't say I'm a snob...


Pretty to look at, the Pavlova opens a whole other dimension of the words sweet and crusty all at the same time. If you have a penchant for this dessert, do try D10's version.


The Homemade Profiteroles ($9) served with vanilla icecream and chocolate sauce was pleasant but uninspired.


One of my favourite picks of tonight's dessert listings would have to be the Traditional crème brûlée with Bourbon Vanilla and Rum ($9). Thick with the sweet scent of rum and good ole' vanilla in every spoonful, I fought off the urge to graze on the entire dish and decidingly move on the other desserts in hopeful search of greener pastures.


And then I found this...

The White chocolate and strawberry cheesecake ($10). I could have sworn my love for it there and then. It's luscious creamy interior complimented by the tart berry compote and jelly crown. Simple yet big-hearted in every way, this was right up my alley. Darn the fact that the waiter was enormous on mind reading, he cleared my spoon in the nick of time and saved me from self destruction thru gorging should I have been left with this plate stationary in front of me.


as the long-stretched dinner came to a conclusion, we were brought on a quick go-see of the area, a.k.a area inspection. Stepping into the cool realms of the indoor dining area, I was surprised to find myself immersed in a totally different environment. Chic and pristine, a bit like broth back on duxton hill. Taking a small flight of steps down to it's lower deck, I turned the corner and was floored by the shelves of wine stacked neatly against the wall.


With prices in an orderly five tier range, $39, $49, $59, $70 and $99. District 10 offers the service of no frills wine sessions complete with good finger foods and the availability of affordable wines from a notable range of countries. Did I mention the decanters they have?


To sum it all up before the school bell rings, District 10 bistro offers an alternative space for the cool kids. Think wallet-friendly cuisine, convenient location and relaxing ambience... guess I probably would be heading down there someday soon. Appetisers and wine maybe??


District 10 Bistro

10 Winstedt Road #01-17
Singapore 227977
tel: 6738 4788

website: http://www.district10.com.sg/

dining out: it's been awhile


It's been awhile.

Marmalade pantry + thai central 002

Indeed, it's been ages since I've posted my last food review. My absence owing to my fussy work schedule and perhaps my not-so-fussy palate. Seeking gratification in home-cooked foods after a whole day at work may just seem a little more comforting to the empty soul. But with a little coaxing and a date with the girls, the squirrel manages to sneak out from it's tree hollow home and venture into the mind boggling, beyond atas playground of the rich.

Maramalade pantry @ ION. Yes, gone are the days of the renaissance as the kitchen makes a move to the newly furbished ION. A pain in the ass to navigate if you ask me. After a few rounds of the shopping mall, I felt suffocated and strangely claustrophobic despite the spacious halls and high ceilings. Must have been the lack of natural lighting I reckon.

I eyeballed as an immaculately dressed caucasian lady stood up from her seat in her well fitted frock and tottled down to the cake display area in her gorgeous blood red designer heels. Indeed, this was a place to be seen and heard.

Marmalade pantry + thai central 003

Moving on to the food, we settled down quickly after our long wait-list ordeal. With one famished counterpart and another die-hard quiche fan; we perused the menu at break-neck speed and set out ordering the following, steak sandwich with wasabi mayonnaise, caramelized onions and rocket for me; Soft scrambled eggs and house-cured salmon with horseradish creme fraiche on pumpernickel for the beauty queen(just because the kitchen had run out of quiche); and finally Spice Grilled Lamb with iman biyaldi, mint and radish on garlic flatbread for the soon to be migrating swan.

Marmalade pantry + thai central 006

The steak sandwich certainly made my day. With an intangible bun paying homage to the lucious wasabi mayonnaise within, it went down amazingly well with the medium well steak. The tapioca and sweet potato chips provided an incredible color contrast on the plate, however, failed miserably in the taste test with it's lack of seasoning. In conclusion, this was good but I've had better and more valued-for-money version at Uluru.

Marmalade pantry + thai central 011

Scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. Pathetic portion. Mystical pumpernickel bread that left the better of us a but confused. Tasted like stale cornbread to me really.

Marmalade pantry + thai central 016

The Spice Grilled Lamb with iman biyaldi, mint and radish on garlic flatbread fared much better with the garlic flatbread providing a perfect canvas for the spices from the grilled lamb to shine thru. The yogurt dip flecked with chopped mint soothing the palate with every mouthful.

Marmalade pantry + thai central 018

I would have given desserts a go alas for the timing. Work beckons with the trayful of damp cutlery waiting to be wiped down and cashier full of paper notes waiting to be tabulated. I promise I'll be back.

Marmalade pantry + thai central 004

The Marmalade Pantry
good things to eat

Unit 03-22
Orchard Ion
2 Orchard Turn
Singapore 238801

telephone 6734 2700
facsimile 6734 2279