Introduction to Chinese Desserts: Red Bean, Green Bean and Mung Bean (Yellow Bean) Soup Recipes

01 September 2016

It's wonderful how a simple bowl of a traditional Chinese dessert can lift up one's spirits, especially during the cold winter months when the wind is howling outside. 

I'm no expert at making desserts, especially Asian desserts, but these were easy as pea to cook. There isn't really much to it, and the 'recipes' here are more of a guideline. The instructions are quite forgiving, and can be adjusted easily to suit your taste. If you like it thinner, add more water. If you like the beans mushier, leave it boiling on the stove for a longer period of time while you engage in a more pleasant hobby (say, tinkering around your blog).     


26 August 2016

Is there a culture that you cannot find in Dandenong? Dandenong Pavillion serves some of the most delicious burgers I've had. One of the best meal I've had in Melbourne was from Afghan Rahimi. Ethiopian food can be found at Gibe African Restaurant, and right across the street is Polish Rye Bakery which is worth every praise online. If you hanker for Middle Eastern pastries and Lebanese pizzas, A1 Bakery has your back. (Asian food is a little underrepresented from my list, but I didn't come all the way from home to eat Chinese food. People praise Singapore for being a cultural melting pot, but exotic cuisines in Singapore usually command a hefty price tag...)  

So when the Polish midwife who I was shadowing recommended Kluska to me, I just had to visit. Walking into Kluska feels like entering someone's home; the restaurant retained the floor-plan of a house, and everything from the curtains to the little doilies on the tables feel homey. 

Pierogi are traditional Polish dumplings filled with a variety of stuffing. A main course of pierogi here has 10 dumplings, while each entree ($8.50) is half the price and has 5. We bantered with the waitress and she gave us several personal recommendations (she really didn't like the chicken or the buckwheat with cottage cheese fillings.) The potato and cheese was on-point: the filling was creamy and smooth and was absolutely gorgeous. The beef was decent, and I liked that they used shredded beef and not minced beef. The cabbage had a sour and pickled taste, which my table-mate was quite fond of. We were so impressed, we ordered another round.


18 August 2016

I got into a pleasant conversation when I ran into a Singaporean expat from a while back. Having been in Melbourne for a much longer time than I, he's been around the block quite a few times. I wrangled a list of restaurant recommendations from him (and passed on my favourite Middle Eastern restaurant in exchange). 

One of his favourite Singaporean restaurant is O'town, and I could see why: the ambiance made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Nothing against Pappa Rich or Petaling Street, but their service and layout seem more impersonal in comparison. Coming to O'town feels like going home. It wasn't overly crowded with hoards of people to squeeze through or new arrivals waiting for you to finish up and leave, but had the just-right amount of people to create a pleasant din of conversation around you. We reached 15 minutes to 8pm, and there was no difficulty finding seats. The service was really efficient as well. We were seated and served in 10 mins

The Fried Octopus ($9) was delicious! It seemed a little soggy when I picked it up, but the texture was fresh and crunchy. For $9, there was plentiful to go around. 

Wanton Mee with Cha Siew ($10) was decent. It was average in taste, but the portion was large and plentiful. I almost couldn't finish. Almost. The noodles were decent, but the cha siew was unremarkable. You could probably get better results with a bottle of Lee Kum Kee sauce and pork neck. 

We shared a bowl of chendol ($7.50). This one we didn't finish: the shaved ice was too coarse.

The Verdict

The portions were very generous, especially for the price. It's a decent choice for Singaporean food; the food tastes like home and it's a cozy place to linger and chat. We left feeling satisfied and happy and we will be back to try other dishes. (I hear the Dark Sauce Wanton and Ipoh kwey Tiao with chicken is great.)


Fried Octopus 

Domino's Pizza

12 August 2016

I can't believe the price of Domino's here. A whole pizza for $5? What sorcery is this! I should eat pizzas more often. 
As long as you walk in before 9pm, pizzas are $5 each. N and I split the the Americano ($5). Because my metabolism is not what it once were, four slices each was filling enough. Another pizza, and I would have been completely stuffed. The topping was sparse, but at this price, we could hardly complain about it being a bad deal. 
Because pizza always go with coke, I added on two sides ($6): a large coke and fries. I was expecting crispy fries, but they turned out to be oven-baked. Sitting packed in a little container did little to improve its texture, and oven-baked fries is always disappointing. They taste one rung above boiled potatoes. Sell wedges instead next time, and I'll be one happy camper. Please?


05 August 2016

Is Chokolait in the area where White Tomato is? Hm. No? We're still going anyway. I don't go to the city often, and since I'm already there, I might as well tick all the boxes. 

With N constantly telling me that their Pavlova ($12.95) is the best that she's had, I entered with a great deal of expectation. It looks amazing, and tasted pretty good as well. I appreciated how the sweetness in the meringue here is more moderated, unlike Hopetoun Tea Room's

White Tomato

29 July 2016

Based on a friend's raving recommendation, White Tomato landed a spot on my "Restaurants-to-go-to" list. Contrary to my initial impression, White Tomato is not a brunch location, but a Korean BBQ restaurant that has made a name for itself in the city. 
I'm a big fan of eating Korean BBQ for lunch because that's when restaurants are far less crowded. Plus, the natural light makes the food photography turn out better in spite of my sub-par skills. We had the 3 Pork and Chicken Set ($45.90), and chose Chilli Pork Belly, Soy Pork Scotch, and Pork Belly. 

Singapore Kampong Restaurant

22 July 2016

Studying in Melbourne over the last four years, I rarely eat Singaporean-style food here. Sure, I occasionally patronise Petaling Street or Papa Rich if my friends are going, and I go crazy over the stir-fry beef hor fun from Nudle (Chadstone). But for the most part, I get my Singaporean food fix when I go back over the holidays, where I can indulge in my Singaporean food cravings from renowned hawkers at a fraction of the prices here in Melbourne. 

But unlike me, a certain sad boy hasn't been back to Singapore in 4 years and counting. In the spirit of brotherhood, S and I visited the newly-opened Singapore Kampong Restaurant in Clayton.