Shinjuku Japanese Restaurant @ Cavenagh Road

Wednesday, December 31, 2008 Posted by YY on 11:55 PM comments (0)

We were wandering aimlessly along Orchard Road after watching Ponyo, wondering what to have for dinner. Then I spotted this restaurant tucked away in this quiet spot of Orchard Road, Cavenagh Road(one small road away from Ken Ramen)

Shinjuku Japanese Restaurant..nice exterior.

These lanterns make the whole place look more cosy. There were a few Japanese customers in the restaurant so we felt more assured about having authentic Japanese fare. The menu was in Japanese & English alphabets for pronouncing them in English but there were no pics, that posed abit of problem. In the end, we ordered a bento set at $25 and Yaki Soba at $11.

The waitress gave us each a hot towel once we sat down and got us a cup of hot green tea each.
*Green tea is FOC.

The next thing that was served was unexpected. The waitress told us that its a tradition in Japan to eat buckwheat noodles during the New Year's Eve *some info here*

So every customer gets a small bowl each as today is 31st Dec.
*This is FOC too.
Yummy stuff.

My yakisoba. Not bad, every strand of noodles were equally coated with the tangy sauce.

K's bento set came with rice with a plum to mix in, this is how they eat it in summer according to K. There's also appetiser (spinach with sesame dressing) , fried stuff (ebi fry, grilled salmon, egg, tori karaage) and for sashimi(3 slices tuna and 2 slices hamachi).

K says that the cut for sashimi is pretty good, fatty meat.

Closeup on a piece of hamachi sashimi.

Total bill added up to $42.40 which was pretty ok so we will be back again to try the daily specials menu. On our way out, we noticed at each side of the entrance, there was a plate of salt.

To quote from:

"Purification Using Salt -- Mori Shio, Maki Shio
Salt is another major element of purification. In Shinto ceremonies, salt is often sprinkled to remove impurities -- this act is usually called shubatsu. Salt is sometimes placed outside homes in little piles called Mori Shio (piles of salt), usually near the entrance, so people who enter the home are purified. "

So desu ne~

Boxing Day

Saturday, December 27, 2008 Posted by YY on 11:26 PM comments (0)

My boxing day activities started at 9.30am ..prepared and met up with K for lunch at Bedok.
But the hawker centre was closed *hurmph* and my boxing day was nearly ruined.

Anyway, we had lunch and took a bus to visit some kittens that were posted for adoption (by a EDMWer). What a hot day it was >_<'

Thanks to the helpful guy who took care of the 5 kittens + mama cat. This litter lives on the 12th storey and everyday mama cat climbs 12 storeys to look for them. However, its a really really dangerous area for the kittens. Cos they can fall through the staircase landing and go right down to 1st floor/in between or fall through the gaps (to downstairs straight) at HDB corridoors.

Sigh~ its like waiting for accidents to happen and one of the kittens, K2(named by their care giver) went missing and didn't return for many days.

Mama is blue eyed, so are her kittens >_<

After all the playing and prancing around, the cats and humans got tired and decided to take a rest so off we went to Far East Plaza to shop around. We ended up at "a slice of life" ice dessert shop.

Chocolate banana with peanuts and ice shavings was pretty good, but $4.50 is expensive.

Went to Whisk Cafe to try their stuff cos we saw their review on but then..

K makes better ribs than they do.
Fries are hard.

I would have expected some fries along Long John's Silver standard.

I ordered half roasted chicken and it was ok. The veggies could have been better, I guessed sauteed veggies would give it more oomph than caramelized carrots/onions/potatoes.

Overall, the meal added to $37+..eeeee waste money.

Making Challah on Christmas Day(25/12/08)

Posted by YY on 10:15 PM comments (0)

It's the 25th of Dec today and I am having a splitting headache zzz...meanwhile, K is trying out an online recipe for the challah bread. The challah bread is eaten on a holiday and as such K decided to do this bread on X'mas Day.

The challah contains plain flour, olive oil, sugar, eggs and of course yeast and salt. After mixing, it looks one whole sticky mess.

K applying what he learnt from a youtube video on handling high hydration dough, which is to use the scraper to fold/knead the dough till smooth.

Finally it looks decent enough to start its 1st proofing.

1 hour grew by double. We were unsure if this dough will become a challah bread cos it looks sticky and wet -_-
Punch down(above pic is after punch down) and another half hour for 2nd proofing.

After a total of 1.5 hours of proofing, K divided the dough into 6 portions and slowly proceed to roll them out into 14" each. Hmm~ amazingly the dough was able to stretch this long.

One marble slab was not K "screamed","There's no space!" and another marble slab came into action. Braiding of 6 strands of dough into a challah bread.

I can't describe how to braid this thing cos I got confused myself LOL~ only K knows what he's doing.

Closeup on the braiding and apply one layer of egg wash and proof till double in size.

Overall view. The oven tray is only that long, so is the the bread will have its ends squashed @_@''

Applying second layer of egg wash before baking. The purpose of applying two layers of egg wash is to let the bread have a nice color.

Interesting effect that braiding has on the bread's outlook.

The texture of the bread.

Close up texture. It's really quite addictive cos texture wise it is soft and fluffy. Taste wise, its abit sweet *slurp* and most of all, it's still soft up till now (2days later).

Merry X'mas to all~

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 Posted by YY on 10:51 PM comments (0)

I am happy to say that I am on leave till Monday =D
But at the same time, I am bored -.-
I am hard to please.

My x'mas present to myself: Shoes from Vivie! I started wearing shoes from Vivie since a year ago and I am totally won over because of comfort and good design.

This time round its a pair of silver heels. $43 for this pair of heels is pretty worth it considering it should serve me for 6months to 1 year unlike Charles & Keith shoes that lasted me for only 1 month *dun ask me why*

My present to K from Elle Homme, a simple office bag.

Some weeks ago, I bought some stuffs from a Taiwan Yahoo Seller. My main aim was getting the boots..thinking to leave them for CNY though. Since I was getting 2 pairs of boots, I thought why not get more stuffs to make my postage worth? So I bought some "hair sponge balls", fringe clip, a dress and etc.

The yellow sponge balls are invented by the Japanese and they are supposed to give you curls. So how does it work? First twirl your hair and make sure it stays within the inside of the sponge ball. To make smaller curls, twirl with "more force" so that the diameter of the inside is smaller.

Half done head of mine. According to the seller, on average a head needs about 10 balls. So I bought 10 pcs at NT5 each. From experience, I would say its more suitable for people with long hair cos its hard to twirl when your hair is too short/layered.

I took them off after 30mins. Then slept on my curls till next morning, I ran my fingers through my hair and the curls sorta went away but at 8pm+ it was still slightly curly. Well, not bad at all.

It's a half day today, I went to Bioskin to redeem my leftover member pts. Did O2 plasma facial and eye lash perm while K went for eye treatment XDD
His first facial experience was quite ok..he fell asleep apparently.

We took a bus-> MRT to The Central and had Marutama again *yes again..*

Then Meiji green tea ice cream with banana at a fruit stall located at the basement. *YUMMY*

And so, my christmas eve is ended..
Merry Christmas to ALL!

Men-Tei Ramen

Monday, December 22, 2008 Posted by YY on 11:39 PM comments (0)

We chanced upon the shop name, Men-Tei Ramen while poking around for La Mian recipes.
Since Men-Tei doesn't open on weekends, we have to visit them on weekdays.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 11am - 3pm, 6pm - 10pm
(Closed on Sat, Sun & PH)

61 Robinson Road
#01-01 Robinson Centre

Tel: 6438 4140

The posters in the shop says that noodles are freshly made daily and soup broth brewed for 9hours with fresh ingredients from Japan.

Overview of menu. There's just about shoyu, miso, tonkatsu(spicy/non spicy), shio flavour soups to choose from.

Oh o.O they have ramen pepper here.

Heard that they used to close in the evening, now they are opened till 10pm.

K's miso ramen. The noodles at Men-Tei are pretty thin and soft(we didn't request for soft/hard noodles) by default so do request for harder noodles if you don't want them to get too soft halfway. The miso soup is pretty yummy but I think miso broth from Ken Ramen tastes better.

Tonkatsu ramen came in milky broth. Adding a small amount of ramen pepper to this bowl of noodles, makes it taste even better.

In less than half an hour, we were done and K couldn't stop drinking the soup -_-'
But we were not thirsty at all after this meal, so I guess MSG (if any) was kept to the minimum.

Personally, the ramen at Men-Tei were not bad for $13 nett. Each bowl came with lots of ingredients like char siew, bamboo shoots and half an its pretty worth it. However, both Ken Ramen and Men-Tei have the same problem that is, the bowl of noodles started turning cold when we were halfway through. This is weird, cos it never happened when we were in Marutama. Another reason on why I love Marutama, cos the soup would be piping hot even after I finished them.

3 1st time attempts ._. (21/12/08)

Sunday, December 21, 2008 Posted by YY on 12:16 AM comments (0)

We had some fantastic chinese la mian on Monday at Amara Hotel Food Court and decided to try making some chinese dishes today. So dinner is gonna consist of La Mian, gyoza and dashi maki tamago(this is a overdue dish that we wanted to try weeks/months ago)

YY will be doing the gyoza wrappers + fillings and wrapping it whereas K will be attempting the La Mian.

1. Recipe for Gyoza.
I used this blog for reference on wrapping method.
Another useful blog for video reference on wrapping.
2. Youtube vide on: Dashi Maki Tamago
3. Video on how to pull La Mian

With some basic knowledge from the above references, I set out at around 5pm to start making the gyoza wrapper from scratch.

Mix in boiling water to plain flour + salt(above), then add in tap water. Knead into smooth dough.

Ok, now leave the dough to rest for 30mins.

Meanwhile, K taught me to chop chives and cabbage properly. K then minced the pork using two choppers (do not get minced pork, mince it yourself for better texture fillings).

A simple illustration on cutting chives/veggies like cabbage.
1. Place the cleaver/knife at an angle to the chopping board surface.
2. Use your body weight, *don't be too far from the chopping board* hold the handle steadily(where your hand is), push down.
3. Cut all the way horizontally across.

You know you are doing this right when the chives says "ceerk!" when you cut them in step 2. Well, obviously I was lousy at cutting such veggies..cos they were not severed. And I had to drag my knife along the chopping board..after using this method, they were nicely cut each time.

The dough has finally rested for 30mins, divide into portions of 10g each i.e. each wrapper is 10g of dough.

Me rolling the dough into thin wrapper.

Above is mine, below is K's. I think we need to do it a few more times to have a perfect tin, round wrapper. After this, I decided to start wrapping my dumplings but..WTF!! They stuck onto each other and refused to peel off one another. So I had to redo 6 of them :@
Remember to put more flour in between the layers of wrappers.

Wrapping the's the half done one, just before sealing the top . Its wrapped in har gow style.

Not very even though >_<''

Some mega sized dumplings from K -_-..put oil into the pan, fry till bottom is golden brown.

Add in water, cook till dry before adding abit of oil to continue cooking for while.

The end product..didn't fry the top of the dumplings. The recipe for the skin was pretty good, nice and chewy. However, it was so hard to control the temperature of the gas stove and some of the dumplings got chao ta at the bottom zzzzz~

One of them which was saved from getting burnt :)

For dashi stock, we used this powdered form of stock whereby 1 sachet makes 120grams of stock (add water to it). And well, its actually alot cheaper than buying konbu and bonito flakes to make it as this whole package of 8 sachets costs only $5+.

To start making Dashi Maki Tamago, oil the pan first.

Mix 3 eggs together with 30g of dashi stock, 1tbsp of Mirin, sugar and soy sauce.
Pour 1/4 of the mixture into the pan.

At the last layer. From doing this egg, we realised it's really hard to grasp the right temperature at the gas stove, but the main thing is that the pan must be hot enough such that when a drop of egg mixture goes in, it starts to get cooked.

Rolling the egg was quite hard using chopsticks too, it seems doing it with a spatula was easier. Another thing about rolling eggs is that, do it before it gets too cooked else your layer may break easily.

The end product is overly browned but there's still some liquid inside and heavy 蛋腥味.
We need to research more on this man.

How did Marutama do it so well??

Ok, that's all for dinner.

Wait a minute, wasn't there supposed to be the La Mian by K?
Yah there was a dough, but it was firstly, too hard. Then alot more water was added in and it became too soft for pulling => no LA mian.
So we cut the dough up into noodle like form, cooked it ..hmm~ very chewy stuff (@.@)

No pictures.
All of you out there better start appreciating the bowl of hand pulled noodles, dashi maki tamago and well done gyoza out there >_>'''