Crunchy Bottoms

Striking the caloric balance. Barely.

Tag Archives: rice

Sofra Turkish Cafe & Restaurant

Sofra Turkish Cafe & Restaurant

Turkish cuisine remained much of a mystery for the better part of my awareness, since I must admit that I carelessly bunch Turkish, Moroccan, Tunisian and Lebanese all under the gigantic umbrella of Middle Eastern cuisine. I’m horrid, I know. It’s like how Chinese food is no different from Japanese, Korean or Thai to plenty of people. But I have an excuse, and you must grant me this at least: I have never had Turkish cuisine in my entire life, because if I had, I would have been making pita bread all my life had I known that homemade, freshly made flatbreads were just so darn good.

Doner Kebabs roasting on vertical spits.

We have some pretty good Middle Eastern restaurants scattered over the island, most of which I’ve heard are congregated in Haji Lane and Arab Street, some in East Coast, and a couple others on Bussorah Street. And I’ve never been to a single one. I know! What’s wrong with me?!

Well, Sofra is located in the unobtrusive and dowdy-looking Shaw Towers along Beach Road. It’s a reasonable, 8-minute walk from Raffles City, or cut through Bras Basah complex to shave of a couple of minutes. Here, I’m telling you that it’s just 8 minutes to exotic and affordable food (‘exotic’ because anything and everything else is shiny and new outside of Koufu and Kopitiam).

Chefs.

Read more of this post

Advertisements

Fish & Co. – xoxo Platter

The XOXO Platter for 2 ($39.95)

Now I’ll just stick true to my principles and not launch into an entirely unneeded spiel of an occasion that needs no further publicity and marketing than already given. Because we all know that.

I will, however, have to admit that the special menu offerings, exclusive set meals, mind-blowing degustation selections, and promotions that restaurants push when it comes to riding the wave of commercialism during times like these really do tempt the passive consumer. You don’t have to believe in such festivities to enjoy an extended menu. Well more’s always good! Just ignore the neon pink kissy kissy stuff. Simple!

About a couple of weeks ago, the folks at Fish & Co. must have gotten wind that I haven’t been there in a while (and also perhaps they heard that I’m like Grinch of Valentine’s Day and they wanted a chance at enlarging my heart and – maybe, just maybe – turning me from green to blinding pink) and so invited me down to sample their new xoxo Valentine’s Day Platter for 2. Read more of this post

Diandin Leluk

Mango Salad ($6.00)

Take me back a year or two ago and at the mention of ‘Thai food’, I’d just think ‘Thai Express’, ‘spicy’ and…well, ‘SPICY”.

Fortunately for me, time has done away with my sorry ignorance of cuisines and I now associate Thai food with Golden Mile Complex. Of course I’ve heard plenty of people making offhanded comments about how overrated and overhyped it is, that there are many more authentic Thai places scattered all over the island, and that I shouldn’t just keep going back to Golden Mile Complex because it’s boring! Well, its novelty for me hasn’t worn off yet.

But that’s probably also because I’m a masochist.

I can’t explain it, but there’s something extremely gratifying about sniveling and spilling copious amounts of tears and mucous, clawing at my dining partners in pain for help (who also begin clawing at me as their tongues go numb and are reduced to a blabbering mess) as I consume awesome, spicy, Thai food, like a Mango Salad.

And then having it practically tear through my system and blaze out of my behind the next day.

I’d do it again in a heartbeat.  Read more of this post

Bakerzin (United Square)

Bread Basket

The first time I went to Bakerzin was about three years ago, perhaps four. 

Now if I had known that they had a bread basket, and that helping yourself to copious amounts of ciabatta, whole grain and rye breads, and slotting them into an adorable roller-toaster of sorts was completely unlimited (provided you order a set meal of $13.80+), I’d have frequented them sooner – and perhaps would have made a huge dent in their revenue. 

Come on. It’s bread. Fresh bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil to go with. Now we’re talking carbohydrates. 

I would admit though, that the main reason we ended up consuming about five to six plates of bread could really be blamed on my over-enthusiastic delight of dropping the slices into the toaster, watching them roll across the red-hot grill and waiting on bated breath for them to plonkplonkplonk and slide merrily down the little metal slope to a stop before my eager plate. It’s kind of like a grown-up version of how I used to slot every single coin I could find when I was a little tyke of 3 or 4 years-old into the air-conditioning vents of the family car, to the point where my parents had to practically yank them out and exhume the damn pipes before they could sell the vehicle off. I’ve always been a rascal, except that I’ve grown more practical and responsible over the years (I don’t pee in convenient stores and break toilet bowls anymore) – I made sure to finish every single slice. 

Read more of this post

Roasted Bell Peppers and Bacon Risotto

Roasted Bell Peppers and Bacon Risotto

I have never had authentic Italian risotto. 

There, I’ve gone and said it. 

I have this staunch principle, where I will not  – even at gunpoint – recreate something that I’ve never tasted before, because I have no idea what the standard or benchmark is, so I’ll never know if what I’ve concocted is authentic, bona fide, genuinely true to the dish’s traditional taste and texture. Like how I’ve sworn not to bake macarons till I’ve had one. And I have. But I still won’t make those little baking devils because I’ve never had one made from Pierre Herme’s shop in Paris because those are the macarons to have in one’s lifetime. 

I don’t feel qualified somehow, as though I’m some deluded housewife (which I am not and will never be, so call me one and I will end you) desperate to experience some form of life outside of the four walls of the home she’s bound to, even if that means cooking up some pseudo curry from a recipe that the neighbour’s German wife swears by just for a flickering glimpse of what India is like beyond her seat beside the baby’s rocking cradle. 

Oh my, don’t I feel all poetic now.  Read more of this post