Posts by Sharlene

Reader. Parent. Eater of foods aplenty. Tea drinker.

High tea at Lime Restaurant (Parkroyal Pickering Street)

I adore high tea and unfortunately there aren’t many choices where I live in California.

So whenever I visit Singapore, I have to have high tea at least once.

My friend made a reservation at Lime Restaurant at Parkroyal Hotel on Pickering Street.

Their high tea set starts at $44++ for one serving of coffee or TWC tea.

For unlimited servings of tea/coffee it’s $50++.

Not pictured are the scones which to be honest were a bit disappointing – the sides were too hard but luckily the inside was still nice.

This was the one I was most curious about – “an expression of Nasi Lemak”. Nasi Lemak, if you’ve not heard of it, is a coconut rice dish usually served with fried fish and peanuts, egg, cucumber and a really good sambal chili. This ball was a good representation of all the flavours of Nasi Lemak. The rice ball was coated with peanuts and had a dollop of sambal on top

Their cute little carrot cake with a white chocolate carrot on top. The carrot cake was nice and moist.

There was also a yummy Peking duck profiterole, a coconut pandan tart, a chocolate peanut butter cup with Gianduja chantilly cream. As well as some open faced sandwiches which weren’t anything to rave about.

But my favourite was probably the passion fruit meringue tart which unfortunately I didn’t get a good photo of. Funny thing is that I’m not really a fan of passion fruit but I loved the refreshing tartness of the mousse which was silky smooth and topped with a perfectly light meringue. And the pastry was just the right thickness and firmness.

High tea and good company made for a delightful afternoon.

Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, beer, wine, photographs

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A Phuket getaway

Ah can life get any better than this?

We arrived in Phuket in the middle of a storm (the kind that even the taxi driver had to slow down so he could see the road better) so we weren’t able to fully appreciate the beauty of SALA Phuket hotel until the next morning.

Pouring rain as we sipped our welcome drink and checked in

Lemongrass welcome drink

An outdoor bathroom, the rain shower is behind me

I love how the front desk staff walked us into the villa, showed us around, and sat down with us to present us with samples of soaps, body lotions and even pillows to choose from. And I must say I had an easy decision as I loved all their lemongrass-scented lotions and soaps which were the standard. They also had some cinnamon, herbal scents that were nice too.

We lounged around in the room until dinner time and walked out in the rain (with the hotel-provided umbrellas) to the open-air restaurant. The winds were so strong I thought my umbrella would blow away several times. August is the start of rainy season in Phuket and it’s the low season.

The hotel restaurant is surprisingly good. Its menu boasts a mixture of international dishes but we went for local food with a papaya salad, a pork, basil and green bean dish, and a beef curry. Note to self, when in Thailand, “medium spicy” equals “really quite spicy” for me.

It was also Martini Monday with Martinis at just 180THB or US$5.40 (usual price 290THB or US$8.70)

Our first proper day in Phuket and we finally had sunshine!

It was nice to wander around the hotel sans umbrellas and get to see the place. It’s very beautiful with lots of trees everywhere. And so quiet.

I like how they’ve got a library full of books. Most of them aren’t in English!

We also got to enjoy our first breakfast at the hotel, which was included with our room rate. I love that they have a buffet as well as an a la carte selection. I enjoyed the yoghurts and fruits and pastries while waiting for my eggs shashuka to arrive. The husband’s choice was the waffles.

We finally got to use the pool too.

We wandered out to the beach to catch the sunset.

And on Tuesday night there’s a singer-guitarist who has a fun repertoire including Coldplay, Oasis, Ed Sheeren

We kicked our dinner off with 1-for-1 Tiki drinks. He got a Mai Thai and I got an Oriental Mule. I love lemongrass drinks and this was splendid and refreshing.

I ordered the duck leg and it was crispy on the outside and so tender inside. It was served with kale.

We finally had room for dessert and went with the lava cake served with vanilla ice cream and a raspberry compote.

On Wednesday we went out to Phuket Town. Salad resort is a little bit secluded with just a few other resorts along Mai Khao beach on the north-west side of Phuket, about 20 minutes from the airport. The more popular area, Patong Beach is about an hour away. And our trip to Phuket Town also took about an hour as traffic was heavy at times. Phuket Town looks quite a bit like some parts of Singapore with its old shophouses. And one guy I spoke to whose home has become a shop/museum said his ancestors came to Phuket from Malacca, which sort of explains why there was so much Peranakan/Nonya heritage around. The hotel shuttle also took us to the main shopping mall where we bought some things for the kids, lots of dried mango and the best coconut ice cream ever. It sat on a bed of sticky rice and was topped with fresh young coconut and peanuts. It was unctuous and creamy yet not too sweet. It was an absolute delight to eat and I wish I could have had another!

It’s a good thing that the hotel restaurant has such a wide variety and high standards as we ate all our dinners there. On our last night we went for Thai choices. Fish cake, tempura soft shell crab with green mango salad, and a massamun curry. The portions are always sizeable so sharing two starters and a main was plenty for us.

I finally remembered to take some photos of the buffet breakfast. There was also some homemade yoghurt pots with fruit at the bottom, lots of cake and pastries and fruits. I loved the lady finger bananas that I ate every morning – they’re about the size of my index finger! And I enjoyed the congee with its toppings of pickled radish, coriander and ginger as well as the usual Thai condiments of chili slices in vinegar, fish sauce and chili powder.

It was such an unforgettable stay in Phuket both in terms of the accommodation as well as the food at Sala Phuket. It was a peaceful quiet place with such wonderful and friendly staff. I highly recommend Sala if you’re ever planning to visit Phuket. And it looks like they’ve got several other hotels throughout Thailand too.

Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, beer, wine, photographs

#WeekendCooking: Blueberry-blackberry sorbet

The husband returned from the organic berries stall at the farmers market with our usual buy of half a box of strawberries and also a load of blackberries. I love blackberries but I’m the only one in the house who eats them. And I’m sure you know that they don’t keep very well.

So what to do with them?

It felt too hot to make a crumble or pie.

Muffins?

Not really. I would end up having to eat them all.

So somehow my thoughts turned to sorbet. I don’t own an ice cream maker but I remember seeing somewhere that sorbet could be done without a machine. Something to do with a sheet pan and some scraping.

I finally settled on this recipe from King Arthur Flour. It’s a recipe for strawberry sorbet though so I had to do some adapting.

I had about 3 cups of fresh blackberries but felt that with the sieving of the seeds it needed more berries so I also added about 1 cup of blueberries.

I kept the simple syrup ratio of water to sugar at about 1 cup water to just under 1 cup sugar.

And also the 1/3 lemon juice – I also added the zest of half the lemon to the berries before I whizzed them with the immersion blender.

Then followed the recipe instructions of freezing and letting it sit for two hours or so and stirring it around every hour or so. And about 4-5 hours later it was nicely set.

I put the sorbet in a Tupperware box and we are still eating it a few days later!

It’s really refreshing on a hot day.

Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, beer, wine, photographs

Book thoughts: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld

This review is for the audiobook:

As usual, Alan Cumming is an absolute delight to listen to. I love how he voices all the different characters (especially Bovril)! This second book in the steampunk series again blasts through at breakneck speed, this time mainly in Istanbul. I really liked that we get more character development from Deryn, the girl who poses as a boy so she can fly on the Leviathan. Overall a really enjoyable listen!

Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li

This wasn’t a definite 🤘for me. We didn’t exactly start out as best friends, this book and I. I was wanting more for our relationship, expecting book here to leave me salivating and craving Chinese food (yes, even Chinese-American food) so I was a bit disappointed. But our friendship grew as I realized this was a book about the drama of ordinary families, amid the struggles of a second generation running a restaurant.

And like a Chinese eatery, it is loud and chaotic and sometimes the service can be brusque but in the end you leave satiated.

Baking with the boys: French Apple Cake

I don’t like to buy apples from Costco. They’re huge and I find that huge apples tend to be a bit mealy. But we were doing a Costco run and the husband suggested doing some fruit juice so I just quickly grabbed the plastic shell full of Fujis and continued on the rest of the shopping trip – milk, bread, eggs, butter, paper towels etc.

But we didn’t finish all twelve apples so I’ve still got six sitting on my counter.

What to do with them? I started looking up apple cake recipes online. There are French apple cakes, German apple cakes and so on. Which one to go with?

The seven-year-old doesn’t have summer camp this week – it’s the last week the grandparents are visiting and I figured that he might as well spend the time with them. But first in the morning, we did a bit of math and practiced reading some Chinese. And while I was browsing through some recipes, with him looking over my shoulder, he asked me to check out this video which led to the link to the recipe.

It’s a simple cake recipe but what sealed it for me was the interesting “frosting” on the top, made from sugar, egg, melted butter and lemon zest, which is added on top after the cake is baked for 30 minutes, then the whole thing is baked again for about 12 more minutes. I did however reduce the sugar in the “frosting” by half as I was using Fuji apples which are a lot sweeter than the green apples that were in the video. Here’s the link to the recipe and video!

 

It was just a great texture and while I made it with Fuji apples (and also reduced the amount of sugar in the cake), I would like to try it with green apples, which was what was used in the video.

weekendcooking

Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, beer, wine, photographs

 

Birthday books!

It was my birthday yesterday and I had received some books and thought I should share it with you fellow book lovers!

So this one wasn’t a surprise as it something I decided to do this year and sent my mom in Singapore a list of books that she could order from Book Depository and ship to the US. These are all books I’ve read and loved but don’t have copies of. And I especially love these beautiful editions! I haven’t seen them in US bookstores before either.

These books were a lovely surprise from the husband and kids.

I’ve been collecting the Minalima editions of classic lit – The Jungle Book, Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast – and love the stunning illustrations and the fun interactive elements. I knew that the Little Mermaid was out but didn’t know about The Secret Garden which is one of my favourite books since childhood.

Isn’t it just beautiful??

Also the husband ordered this really decadent chocolate mousse cake from a fancy patisserie in Mountain View.

And we went out for some yummy Korean fusion food – kimchi fried rice, Bulgogi kimbap, soy garlic wings and spicy wings, Bulgogi cheese fries! Yum! What a great meal!