Singapore Eats (part 1)

I finally got around to sorting through my travel photos, so here are some to share with you!  My family and I organized a trip to Singapore in celebration of my grandfather’s birthday (he turned 80!).  We spent a few days there wandering the city, exploring some of the major sights, and sampling some of the delicious local foods.

We couldn’t go to Singapore without trying one of their staples: chicken rice!  The chicken is cooked perfectly- tender and boneless- and served with rice (cooked with aromatics like pandan and ginger), soy sauce, and chili sauce.

My aunt loves laksa, so we tried a different one each day.  This was the most flavorful out of all I think, and we found it at an open-air food court on Orchard Road near the Concorde Hotel.  Whoever invented the combination of rice noodles and coconut-based curry broth was an absolute genius.

This is a type of Indonesian kueh, which is a sweet cake made from rice flour.  The texture is soft and gooey with a chewy bite…pretty weird I must say.  Indonesians love neon-colored desserts by the way.

Like these desserts.  Neon tapioca pearls.  There are also red bean shaved ice on the left, and chendol on the right.  When I was a kid, I would get so excited whenever my grandmother made chendol, because that palm sugar syrup and coconut milk drizzled over the red beans and green bean noodles were so, so good.

Roasted chicken noodles.  I love the thin and crispy skin on the roasted chicken!

Ice cream sandwiches….quite literally!  A thick slice of ice cream sandwiched between wafers or pandan bread.  My mom loves the pandan flavor, I don’t really get the appeal though.

Charcoal grilled satays!  These satay stands can be found outside Lau Pa Sat.

They’re served with some Indonesian rice cakes called lontong.  The rice is wrapped in banana leaf and steamed until it is cooked through, which gives them a greenish exterior.  Those yellow drinks are lime soda.

A miniature durian for me!

Roti canai.  Flaky, crispy, dipped in curry sauce.  SO GOOD!

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And…I’m back!

I know, things have been quiet around here.  I was in Asia for the past couple of weeks, and I had the best of intentions to share with you the places I visited and the things I ate.  I had a difficult time keeping to a schedule and, much to my chagrin, falling asleep every night as soon as my head hit the pillow didn’t help at all.  The number of blog posts I had started to write but didn’t get to finish just kept on growing and growing.  It was a bit of a runaway train!

It’s been a great trip, and I’m very happy to be home.  I always enjoy the lack of domestic responsibilities for the first week or so, but then I start to want to tinker in the kitchen.  One of the luxuries of being home is the ability to make something that is exactly what you feel like eating and not that thing on the menu you should be ordering because you’re at that restaurant and everyone recommends it.  As you’re reading this, I’m baking a batch of granola bars because I’ve been craving it for a month.  It’s been too long.  Expect a recipe coming your way very soon!

There are so many food moments that I want to share with you, and I promise I will as soon as I’m finished with unpacking and settling back into the routine of things.  Until then, I’m going to leave you with a picture of the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen (taken at Surin Beach in Phuket, Thailand)  Aren’t the colors unreal?


Food Adventures in Philly, Maryland, and Washington DC

I have an awesome dessert recipe to share with you…tomorrow.  Today, I want to tell you about what I’ve eaten recently that were cooked by someone other than myself.  This past weekend, my sisters and I took our cousin Fiona to Philly, Maryland, and Washington DC, where we visited the iconic landmarks, and, of course, ate some of the foods on my forever-growing “foods to try” lists!

No visit to Philly is complete without trying the cheesesteaks, especially from the two famous vendors: Geno’s and its rival Pat’s.  We all thought Pat’s was better.  Sorry Geno’s fans!

Bassett’s ice cream.  I had Guatemalan Ripple (coffee with chocolate swirls) and Macadamia Nuts, though I thought the flavors were a bit lacking in intensity.

Maryland crab soup and bisque, crabcakes, and steamed crabs with Old Bay seasoning!  We had crabs at Captain James Landing and Schwartz’s, and both were fresh and tasty.  The seasoning at Schwartz’s was better (not too spicy and just the right amount of salt), but I enjoyed the ambiance at Captain James Landing more.  With outdoor seating of picnic tables and benches on the pier, and a couple of wooden mallets and plastic buckets, we were all set for a relaxing and low-key summer evening!

Brunch at Cafe Leopold in Cady’s Alley.  Two of us ordered the sausage hash and two of us ordered the quiche, and we all agreed that the dishes were perfectly cooked (the potato was especially delicious)!

Pastries from Paul Bakery.  My sister raved about their palmiers and even got an extra one to snack on for when we returned to the hotel later!

Coconut flan

Fresh apricot puff pastry tart

Gourmandise (puffed pastry filled with pastry cream and chocolate chips)

We had dinner at Founding Farmers.  Since the restaurant is supported by sustainable farming practices, the menu is inspired by the farm-to-table concept and includes seasonal vegetable dishes.

Toasted ciabatta with three different dips: romesco, avocado, and pimento cheese

The highlight of the meal was definitely the bacon lollis!  It tasted like jerky with a crunchy brown sugar coating and I could imagine myself eating a dozen of these in one sitting.  I’ll try to recreate this appetizer as soon as I can get my hands on some thick-cut bacon.

Chicken pot pie

Pan-fried chicken and waffles

Fresh pasta with sweet corn and asparagus

Skirt steak with chimichurri sauce, squash, and “rice-a-roni”

And finally, I visited the kitchen of my favorite chef of all time: Julia Child!  Julia’s kitchen is currently being displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, so definitely go check it out if you’re a fan like me!