Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Old School Breakfast @ Kai Juan Coffeshop 古早味早餐在佳园茶室

Received an early morning call from foodie friend Angie to have breakfast together. I was given a choice of Hakka yong tau foo at Balestier Road or Hainanese curry rice at Beo Crescent. I picked the former and took a bus down to the venue after calling hubby to join us.

Kai Juan Coffeeshop, this old corner coffeeshop was located on Balestier Road, along the same road as the famous Boon Tong Kee chicken rice shop.

I spoke to the coffeeshop assistant who told us that their shop has not undergone much change for the past 40 years.  

There are three food stalls in this coffeeshop. All of them have been operating for more than 20 years.   


We came specially for this Hakka yong tau foo (德志客家酿豆腐) manned by an old couple in their late 70s. The stall was started by the wife in 1976. The man was a teacher who has since retired and now helps his wife at the stall.

These pioneer generation hawkers are very hardworking, They come to work at 3 am to prepare the food and start selling at 7 am. They close at 2 pm. Wow. That is almost 12 hours of back breaking hard work for this old couple!

The couple didn't want to speak to us initially, but the wife opened up when she saw us bantering with the men from the bak kut teh stall.

At the couple's stall, we saw several pieces of yong tau foo immersed in a basin of broth. Angie told us that this is the old school style of selling yong tau foo in the old days.

My hubby ordered a bowl of yong tau foo with vermicelli (dry) and requested for chilli paste to be added to it. Oh boy, the chilli paste was spicy! The meal cost only S$3 and the lady boss gave him free veggies. hehehe.....

Angie had yong tau foo soup and a bowl of noodles (dry). Her meal cost S$3.50. She couldn't help giving hubby a hard stare when he started bragging that he got his meal cheaper because of his good looks. LOL

We like the broth which tasted deliciously sweet with the flavour of fish, pork and veggies.

Angie and I ordered some dishes from Ah Hak Bak Kut Teh. Their Teochew style pork rib soup is clear, has lots of garlic and pepper in it. I ordered a bowl of pork rib soup (S$6.50) with steamed rice and a mustard green side dish (S$2). The soup was tasty but the vegetable was too salty for my taste.

 Angie chose braised pig intestines (S$6), a bowl of pork liver and kidney soup (S$6). Both Teochew men were friendly, attentive and came to top up our soup.

I ordered an iced milk tea and bought Angie a cup of coffee from the beverage stall. Angie was happy with her coffee as it was aromatic and thick. Apparently they use good quality coffee powder.

After a satisfying meal, we boarded bus number 131 to go to Middle Road.

早上, 贪吃一号安琪约了我到馬里士他路的佳园茶室吃古早味客家酿豆腐。这里的酿豆腐是泡在汤里让我们挑选的。我尝了一口汤头。。。 很赞! 他们的辣椒酱就太辣了!

摊主是70多岁的阿嫲, 她和退休教师的丈夫每天清晨3点到咖啡店制作酿豆腐, 7点开摊, 下午2点收摊。他们每天工作十多个小时, 真辛苦。他们的食物价钱不贵, 阿嬷亲手制作的客家酿豆腐很美味。

营业时间 :早上 7am 到下午 2pm

我们还叫了肉骨茶、猪肝猪肾汤、滷粉肠、搭配菜尾来吃。肉骨茶汤还不错, 不过菜尾太咸。

亚合肉骨茶是老字号, 售卖道地潮州式肉骨茶30多年了。售卖肉骨茶的两位潮州兄服务好, 很健谈, 会自动为我们加汤呢。

 营业时间 :从早上6点开到午夜2点

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Cheng Tng - Teochew dessert 潮州甜品 - 清汤

The hot weather plus a heavy workload is affecting my health. The past couple of days, I am having poor digestion and a sore throat.

Looking through my cherished stash of Chinese ingredients, I decided to make a pot of cheng tng for my family. This light and refreshing Teochew dessert will cool off the body. On a hot day, a bowl of chilled cheng tng is a fabulous thirst quencher.

For my son who would only drink the sweet soup, I will keep a chilled bottle of it in the fridge.

My platter of basic ingredients (anti-clockwise) :

white fungus
dried red dates
candied winter melon strips
dried longans
rock sugar
malva nut (centre)

Boil 2 litres of water and put all these ingredients to cook for half an hour. You can either drink it warm or cold.

There is no fixed rule on what you want to put in your pot of cheng tng. You can add ingredients that you like.

Malva nut (Sterculia lychnophora Hance) is known as :
Pang da hai (胖大海) in Chinese
Pong dua hai in Teochew
kembang semangkuk in Malay
Niranjan Phal or China Phal in Hindi.

The malva nut is commonly used in Chinese medicine to clear and sooth throat. Teachers and singers who have to use their voices a lot will drink a tea make from it to preserve their voice.

Soak the nuts in water for a few hours.   
胖大海泡一下水, 遇水会膨大 

Discard the skin and seeds.

This is how the malva nut looks after it has been soaked and cleaned.
泡好, 清理过的胖大海

天气炎热, 煮点潮州甜品 - 清汤 - 给家人吃。不同地方, 不同家庭都会有自己的煮法, 都是大同小异。

我用的材料 : 银耳、 红枣、冬瓜条、薏米、桂圆肉、原黄冰糖和胖大海等。自己也可以随意添加小白西米、红薯干、莲子、龙须、百合、燕窝、白果、干柿饼等。

胖大海 (又名安南子、大海子、大洞果) - 主治清热润肺,利咽解毒,润肠通便。用于肺热声哑,干咳无痰,咽喉干痛,头痛目赤。

Friday, September 23, 2016

Bibimbap Eastcoastlife - Korean Mixed Rice 家常韩式拌饭

Whenever my son says he wants to eat bibimbap, I would gladly prepare it for him because he usually doesn't eat his vegetables. But when I serve bibimbap with lots of vegetables, he readily eats everything in his bowl.

Bibimbap is an easy-to-prepare, healthy and absolutely delish Korean dish! If you don't add in the meat, it is a healthy vegetarian dish.

My bibimbap is a little time consuming because I have several vegetables and I have to cut them into strips.

Bibimbap (serves 3)
Ingredients :
3 rice bowls steamed white rice
purple cabbage
red pepper
2 eggs - make an omelette

Non-vegetarian version :
200 g pork fillet - cut into strips
Marinate with Korean BBQ sauce, pepper, minced ginger, sesame oil, sugar.
You may substitute with beef or chicken.

Seasoning :
gochujang sauce
sesame oil

For garnishing :
toasted seaweed strips
roasted sesame seeds

1.  You just need a little of each vegetable, blanch them. Cut all the vegetables and omelette into strips.

2.   Stir fry the pork fillet with garlic and onion.

3.   In a big bowl, put in the steamed white rice first. Drizzle some aromatic  sesame oil over the rice. Add pepper.

4.   Arrange the various vegetables and omelette individually in a circle on top of the rice.

5.   Squeeze some spicy-sweet gochujang sauce in the centre.

6.   Place the meat on top of the gochujang sauce and cover with toasted sea weed strips.

7.   Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds over the dish. You are ready to serve.

When the dish is served, my son will mix everything in the bowl with his chopsticks or spoon. Looks messy but it tastes delicious. It's a joy to see him eat up everything.

Even my hubby loves it. See! He is scrapping every grain of rice in the rice cooker for his second helping. haha......

儿子喜欢吃韩国料理, 尤其是韩国拌饭, 不时都要我煮。我也很乐意煮给他吃因为他不爱吃蔬菜, 难得他要吃这道加入最少五六种不同蔬菜的韩式拌饭。韩国拌饭是健康又美味的料理, 外观也非常精致诱人。

韩国拌饭很容易煮, 在家也能做出美味的韩式拌饭。在一个大碗公里盛白饭, 只要把自己喜爱的菜切成絲, 放在米饭上面, 再加自己喜爱的肉和拌饭酱, 用汤匙或筷子搅拌几下。看着儿子大口大口的吃韩式拌饭 。。。我好幸福! 呵呵 。。。

蔬菜切成絲 : 紫包菜、红辣椒、小南瓜、黄瓜、红萝卜、煎蛋等 + 韩国辣椒酱 + 麻油

Batam Trip Day 2 巴淡岛旅游第2天

After a hectic first day in Batam, we were exhausted and woke up late the following morning. Our kinsmen had to hurry us to go for breakfast.

We were the last two hotel guests having breakfast at their coffee house. LOL ..... Batam time is one hour behind Singapore, their breakfast starts at Singapore time 6 am. They were going to close the breakfast counter and prepare for lunch buffet.

Fortunately we still have some time for a quick breakfast and there were chefs available to cook a bowl of steaming hot ayam mee soto (chicken noodle) or fry pancakes and omelettes. Our kinsmen kept us company while we ate.

After breakfast, a few of us spent some time taking pictures on the hotel terrace and lobby before our coach arrived to send us to the ferry terminal. It was a sunny and breezy morning, we could see the city in the distant. Nice to know there is an outdoor swimming pool below the hotel.

Our coach picked us up at 11 am. It was a short ride to the ferry terminal as there was no traffic jam. Our ferry would depart at 12.50 pm, we still had more than an hour to while away. Our kinsmen preferred to wait in the ferry terminal.

Hubby suggested going for A&W fast food as he misses the rootbeer float, waffle with ice cream and curly fries. So we crossed the connecting overhead bridge next to the Immigration Office at Batam Centre Ferry Terminal and arrived at Mega Mall Batam Center. The fast food restaurant is on the ground level.

Finally hubby has his fix of the fast food he was craving for. Since the closure of this fast food restaurant in Singapore, we could only taste their signature items when we are in Jakarta and Bangkok.

We went back to the ferry terminal after our meal as the shops in the mall were not tempting enough to make us shop. We checked in and needed to clear Immigration, but were horrified to see a loooong snaking queue with only 3 counters opened. Oops.... we had only 25 minutes before the ferry departs.

We were worried we might miss our ferry. Many people in the queue were fidgeting too. Nobody dared to complain nor make noise as there was a notice that says "Silent - no talking." We heard that visitors get fined for disobeying this rule.

Finally we cleared Immigration with only 5 minutes to board our ferry back to Singapore. We heaved a sigh of relief once we were on board the ferry. Our kinsmen were getting worried for us as they had to go through the long queue at Immigration too.

Farewell Batam! We will be back soon.

在巴淡岛度过忙碌的第一天 , 第二天睡到自然醒已经不早了。乡亲们开始担心, 打电话催我们去吃早餐。哈哈 。。。我们是团里的年轻人! 还好有点时间, 酒店餐厅要准备自助午餐了, 食物所剩不多, 快快拿了一些可以填饱肚子的。

吃过早餐, 就与两位乡亲们在酒店阳台欣赏风景, 还有拍照留作纪念。

上午11点,出发去码头, 酒店安排车送我们去。我们的船大概一点才开, 看看时间,还是很早。轮渡码头有一座连廊通向对面商场, 我先生提议去商场吃久违的A&W快餐。

乡亲们不去, 我们两通过高架天桥直达商场, 十分便利。在快餐店里吃完东西, 商场的店面都不能引发我的购物欲, 匆匆赶回轮渡码头。却没料到移民厅大排长龙, 只有三个人在工作。我们开始担心赶不上回家的轮渡。 幸好我们能顺利过关, 只剩五分钟就开船。


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