Eat Clean with Sheryl: Deconstructed Sushi Bowl

With so many cheap snacks and fast food joints serving up instant-gratifying unhealthy food, today’s consumers are spoilt for choice. It’s also a relatively tough decision to make when a bowl of healthy salad at a popular salad joint can easily set you back by $11 and above, while a Double Cheese Burger Meal at McDonald’s – upsize with drinks included – costs significantly lower than a bowl of ‘vegetables’.

However, consuming sugarly, refined, processed and fatty food creates a lot of stress for the body to the point of ageing it well before its time. For more information on how food ages you, check out Experience Life’s article ‘Food Habits That Ages You‘.

Preparing your own meals can help you take charge of your health. No matter your age, living situation, or culinary skills, you can learn to cook tasty, healthy, and inexpensive meals.

Cooking for One, Helpguide.org

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Preparing your own healthy food is one way to beat inflation and exorbitant price tags. But more than that, preparing your own meals also give you the power to take charge of your own health. We are what we eat and we are all given the sovereign right to choose what we bring into our body system. Our parents (moms) and their parents know this to be true, hence their preparing healthy and unarguably less salty homemade staple as dinner for the family. Shopping for greens are also made easier. Commercialisation of the food industries brings with it the proliferation of supermarkets from heartland housing areas to business districts.

Character-wise, preparing your own food trains patience and apparently, guts too. An Instagram fan who’s afraid of the knife asks Sheryl how does she chops her greens so ‘finely’ to which our lady chef coolly replies, “it takes lotsa patience and I also have a powerful shredder!”

Ah, patience. A virtue we can all do more with indeed. RET

Follow Sheryl on her instagram here.

Ingredients:

  • Brown Rice
  • Red and Yellow Peppers
  • Organic Tofu
  • Shitake Mushrooms
  • Avocado
  • Radish
  • Carrots
  • Purple Cabbage

*Greens can only be kept fresh for three days.

Preparation Process:

  1. Boil Shitake Mushrooms, Tofu and Brown Rice.
  2. Cut and mix assorted vegetables with boiled ingredients.
  3. Cut up Avocado bits and place in sushi mix.
  4. Sprinkle Shredded Nori and Sesame for flavouring.
  5. Enjoy.

Preparation Time:

  • 45 minutes for a single serving.
  • 1 hour for three day’s worth of lunch (Keep ingredients in airtight container and store in refrigerator).

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References:

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/cooking-for-one.htm

https://experiencelife.com/article/food-habits-that-age-you/

Eat Clean with Sheryl: Red Quinoa and Assorted Greens with Tofu

“The food options around my office are oily, unhealthy and expensive.” If you have ever entertained such a thought, perhaps it’s time to try your hand at preparing your own vegan diet.

Eating clean is a good way to refresh your eating habits: it’s about eating more of the best and healthiest options in each of the food groups—and eating less of the not-so-healthy ones. That means embracing foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains, plus healthy proteins and fats. —Lisa D’Agrosa, M.S., R.D., EatingWell.com

According to several online sources, clean vegan diets helps to rid your body of toxins from processed food, gives you better complexion and glowing skin, more energy, better sleep, better immune system, lesser mood swings (some of our friends might need that), and makes you happier among the many other benefits of eating clean.

It was also claimed to make you smarter, more creative and more attractive! Contrary to popular belief, preparing your own clean recipe is inexpensive and wouldn’t take more than an hour or so – from preparation to mealtime (once you get the hang of it).

Every week I speak with Sheryl, my colleague, vegan and mastermind behind all the eat clean recipes in this series. Eat Clean with Sheryl is a weekly series that introduces easy-to-prepare clean recipes for lunches in the office. The series also features insights into the eating clean culture to help you and I to eat (and feel) healthier, save more and most importantly, to be happier.

So roll up your sleeves, prepare the ingredients, set the table, it’s time to Eat Clean with Sheryl. RET

Follow Sheryl on her instagram here.

Ingredients:

  • Organic Tofu
  • Red Quinoa
  • Red Capsicums
  • Purple Cabbage
  • Japanese Cucumber
  • Edamame Peas
  • Avocado
  • Grapefruit

Preparation Process:

  1. Boil Red Quinoa for 30 minutes, replace water with Miso (flavoured water) for extra taste.
  2. Boil Edamame Peas.
  3. Cut and mix assorted vegetables.
  4. Sprinkle generous dose of Toasted Sesame Oil on Tofu for the smoky taste.
  5. Microwave Tofu before serving.
  6. Enjoy.

Preparation Time:

  • 45 minutes for a single serving.
  • 1 hour for an entire week’s lunch (Keep ingredients in airtight container and store in refrigerator).

References:

http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/10_ways_to_eat_clean

http://news.health.com/2014/09/02/5-reasons-to-eat-healthier-that-have-nothing-to-do-with-your-weight/

http://spryliving.com/articles/the-benefits-of-eating-clean/

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/perks-of-eating-all-clean-vegan-food/

Feature: One of Singapore’s Finest Eating Spot, Lavender Food Square

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“I raised two children all the way to university through this business!” exclaimed stall owner Mr Chng. Chng operates the famous Whitley Road Fish Ball Noodle stall in Lavender Food Square together with his wife. Home to some of Singapore’s most popular hawker stalls like Kok Kee Wanton Mee, Whitley Road Fish Ball Noodle, Albert Street Prawn Noodle, Miow Sin Popiah and Carrot Cake, and Kin Turtle Soup, there is something here for everyone here at the iconic 24-hours hawker centre. With more than 30 stalls in operation and spacious space, Lavender Food Square can feed and accommodate as much as 800 patrons at any given time. Other features include the iconic high ceilings, retractable shelters and wide screen television sets broadcasting the latest football matches.

Built back in the early 1980s, Lavender Food Square was initially established as Bugis Square. The food centre was closed for renovation to fix its public drainage system which used to clog up and cause flooding when it rained. It later reopened in 1992 as the iconic Lavender Food Square that we all know today. A place of good food for most, a source of livelihood for some, many of the hawkers have practically been with the food centre for decades. Chng himself had been with the food centre for two decades. The shutters will come down over the legendary food centre in the later part of the year. One thing is for sure, Lavender Food Square has had a good run, and its memories will remain etched in the hearts of those who was satisfied by its savoury delicacies.

UPDATE: Period of photoshoot and interview was conducted in early 2014. Lavender Food Square is no more, teared down to make way for an office building.

Writer’s Note: While the photos have not been watermarked, all rights belong to the photographer (me). Requests for commercial use of photos will not be entertained. For requests for editorial use, kindly email me at reueleugenetay@gmail.com. 

References:

http://mothership.sg/2014/03/lavender-food-square-at-jalan-besar-closing-down-to-make-way-for-rent-seeking-capitalists/

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Feature: Pamper Your Mom at Limoncello This Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day only a month away, it’s the perfect time to start planning for the mothers we so loved. “A memorable dining experience is not just about good food, but also about a pleasant dining environment.” And Italian Restaurant, Limoncello offers just that. With an al fresco dining area with a serene view of the Singapore River, Limoncello’s very own stone pizza oven (it can’t get more authentic than this), and a cascading waterfall within the restaurant’s premise, it’s hard not to simply relish and soak into the restaurant’s homely atmosphere.

Now that we are done with the formalities, time to score the dishes.

Portobello Al Tartufo
Oven baked Portobello mushroom with sautéed spinach and truffle sauce

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First up, the Portobello Al Tartufo for antipasti (starters in Italian). The over-baked mushroom was cooked to a tender perfection with fresh sautéed spinach and drizzled generously with truffle sauce. I mean, wow. I’m no fan of truffle sauce, but this sealed the deal for me. The truffle sauce with spinach was very rich and compliments the portobello mushroom perfectly. The mushroom was soft and slightly chewy, making it easy for people with braces – me. It’s dangerous to set the mark so high right from the first dish, but I knew that I’m in for a treat for the rest of the night.

Sauté Vongole 
Clams sautéed with white wine sauce

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Second antipasti, Sauté Vongole. I’m no big fan of clams either but cooking the clams with butter and a dose of white wine certainly did the trick for me. The taste of sea is retained in the clams; not too overpowering like those you find at the normal restaurants, but not too faint that either. I like that garlic was added to give the dish some punch. Vietnamese clams are fresh, sweet and juicy. No complaints from me.

Customers choose between two mains; Fettuccine Con Frattaglie Di Wagyu and Branzio Al Sale.

Fettuccine Con Frattaglie Di Wagyu
Fettuccine with mushrooms and sliced wagyu beef in natural juice

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First main, the Fettuccine Con Frattaglie Di Wagyu. Unlike the antipasti that fires up the taste buds, the fettuccine (organic – health enthusiasts take note!) is just right. Slices of wagyu beef lends their savoury taste to the natural juices used to flavour the dish. The fettuccine is done al-dente – chewy to the bite. Might not be the thing for people looking for flavourful burst of taste palates, but perfect for the moms who are watching the waist lines, and love a clean yet a hearty main course with tender wagyu beef.

Branzio Al Sale
Salt-baked Catch of the Day

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Second main, Branzio Al Sale, Salt-baked Catch of the Day. We had Sea Bass for the Catch of the Day. The fish is baked with rock salt from the ocean bed, as I was told. Unlike the processed salt that you have, rock salt lends a gentle flavour without overpowering the taste of the fish; thus bringing out the sweetness in the fish. The fish is baked for 30 minutes; thus sealing the fresh flavour of the seas within the fish – you can literally taste it’s freshness. All I can say is go with the fish!

Customers choose between two desserts; Limoncello Cake and Tiramisu.

Limoncello Cake
Cake with liqueur, almonds and white chocolate

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As the name goes, the Limoncello Cake is one of Limoncello’s signature dessert. And it’s not too hard to guess why. The cake is warm and buttery, making it a welcoming after-meal treat. Infused with Limoncello liqueur, the cake is not too sweet. The texture is soft while the lemon and orange rinds and crushed almonds lend a nice texture to the cake.

Tiramisu
Ladyfingers dipped in espresso and amaretto with Mascarpone Cheese

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And of course, who doesn’t like a good Tiramisu? The cream used for the tiramisu is subtly sweet and very smooth, adding to the richness of the amaretto and espresso.

Verdict: I think Limoncello is definitely value-for-money for those who crave authentic and good Italian food. It’s hard to find an Italian eatery that fits within the (middle class) budget, which gives Limoncello many plus points. The downside however is that it may be difficult to find the restaurant on your first attempt. Prepare your Google map. Other than that, this Italian restaurant is a (hidden) gem.

Menu Selection A ($148++ for two)

  • Limoncello Spritz (complimentary welcome drink)
  • Portobello Al Tartufo & Sauté Vongole
  • Fettucine Con Frattaglie di Wagyu paired with Riparosso Montepulciano D’Abruzzo
  • Limoncello Cake or Tiramisu

Menu Selection B ($168++ for two)

  • Limoncello Spritz (complimentary welcome drink)
  • Portobello Al Tartufo & Sauté Vongole
  • Branzino Al Sale paired with Calanchi di Vaiano Chardonnay
  • Limoncello Cake or Tiramisu

Limoncello Pizza & Grill is located at 95 Robertson Quay, #01-19/20, S 235256. Reservations can be made at +65 6634 5117 or limoncellosg@gmail.com.

How to get to HaHa’s restaurant

안녕하세요, 여러분!

It will probably take a while before I get to share the pictures (after processing) and stories of my Seoul backpacking trip.

In the meantime, if you’re heading to South Korea soon just as I did a month earlier, and am a Running Man fan, and am clueless on getting to HaHa Dong Hoon’s 팔자막창 restaurant, then you’re in the right page.

It’s already tough finding the place from the net and the few blogs offering help seem to only confound rather than enlighten, I know I know.

So here’s the step-by-step guide on getting to your favorite Running Man’s restaurant.

HAHAMap credit goes to NANTA

 

1. Take the Subway Line 2 [Green] to Hongik University station and exit at Exit 9.

The station is located between Sinchon and Hapjeong and is also located by the very happening Hongdae shopping street.

2. Getting to HAHA’s restaurant via landmarks

The entire area on the map is actually the shopping area and I would advise you to make it one of your night escapades definitely but for the sake of not getting lost, walk forward by the main road after you exit from Exit 9.

You will cross a road and bypass Tom & Tom’s Coffee (they serve great coffee!). Keep walking until you see a Massage signboard/Ginseng Chicken restaurant. Just before you turn left into a small lane, you should also see a traditional Hanok shop.

After turning left into the small lane, follow the road ahead until you see the NANTA building.

IMG_4950PHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay

 

FYI: NANTA is South Korea’s longest running non-verbal performance show combining drama and comedy all in the kitchen There are currently four NANTA theatres (3 in Seoul and 1 in Jeju) as well as an international traveling troupe. Bottomline is you just catch it if you’re in Korea!

That would mean that you’re on the right track! Well done! Now walk a little further and turn right. You will see shops selling clothes and such, but don’t be distracted and wander away just yet.

Upon turning right, walk straight away and you should see a relatively big Marvel Superheroes poster on top of a shop. That’s your cue to keep advancing forward. Walk beyond the poster and you should see a ‘makeshift carpark’ in the middle of the shopping area. Look up, diagonally to your right and you will see the Sang Sang Ma Dang. Upon seeing this building, you know you’re really close to your destination.

The building looks like this:

IMG_4964PHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay

 

FYI: The Design Square on the 1st level of this building offers many cool products designed by Korea’s budding young designers. Check it out! Pictures to be up soon.

Walk past Sang Sang Ma Dang and cast your eyes to your right and you should be able to see HAHA’s 팔자막창 restaurant just down the road!

하하(HaHa) 팔자막창(Pal Cha Mak Chang)

IMG_4972(Collage)PHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay

 

Signatures of past celebrities that visited. Recognize any?

Collage

PHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay

 

Pork Intestine with Vegetable (Very spicy but oh-so-yummy!)

IMG_4985PHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay

 

Got to know a new Korean friend. Meet Haesung, currently studying in the States. He’s back in homeland during his school breaks. He taught us how to eat the food! What a nice chap, dinnering with his little brother!

IMG_4989PHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay

 

Barbecued pork intestines and pork strips anyone?

IMG_5291PHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay

 

IMG_5292PHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay

 

Condiments to eat the main course with

IMG_5300PHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay

 

IMG_5296PHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay

 

LeeSSang’s 팔자막창

IMG_4991(collage)PHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay

 

박명수(Myeong Soo) 와 유재석(Jae Seok)!!

IMG_5304PHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay

 

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PHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay

 

We went to both HaHa and LeeSSang Gary’s restaurant but they are both essentially offering the same thing, plus the food is quite pricey for Korean food standards. So if you only have a few days in Korea, just go to one. But if you’re a fan of Running Man, I say go both! 😉

Thanks for visiting!

(Whew, this entry took so much more effort and time than I’ve expected!)

Food Journal #7 – Watami Singapore (J8)

Months ago, I was pretty sad when I found out that the Cafe Cartel at J8 was being replaced by some Japanese restaurant (because that would mean no more half-priced cakes after 9.30pm!). But all that was set to change after a visit to Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant which now occupies the retail space of the then Cafe Cartel.

Gf bugged me to give it a shot after hearing that they were on 50% discount, or something like that. She also said that she always see people leaving the restaurant with a bright smile on their faces and wanted to find out what’s so special about the restaurant. So I decided to go try out the food. The waitresses were professional and would greet us in Japanese as well as in English as we walked into the restaurant. While at the restaurant, we feel like royalties, haha. The staff were really polite and customer-centric. The furniture of the restaurant is arranged in such a way that one dining table is not really that close to the other, giving diners personal space and privacy. The restaurant is also given a very modern layout while at the same time giving customers a very cozy feeling.

The food (ala carte) prices are a lil pricey but still affordable (between $10 to $20). We decided to go for the special set for 2 which cost $49 (before GST and service charge) since it looked really good from the menu and very value-for-money. The waitress that was serving us was probably around the age of 18 or so but was professional and also gave us her recommendations. Best of all, she takes our order in a half-kneel position! Talk about customer service!

This is where the ‘fun’ begins. The food didn’t take too long to arrive, and I mean ALL of them. Just the psychological impact alone is enough to make one full. All the food (too many to name) taste really good. Even a non salad and corn fan like me actually love their salad and sweet corn. Sukiyaki Teishoku (Beef hotpot) got Tong all excited! The waitress also offered to help us break the egg for the Sukiyaki Teishoku. The Wafu pizza recommended by the waitress was really good too. As for the other dishes, the pictures are self-explanatory.

In the end, we were so full that we had no choice but to do a very Singaporean thing; ‘Tak Bao’! Haha! The meal costed $49 before tax and $57.70 after tax. After the meal, I was presented with $20 Watami vouchers (I was not given another $5 voucher because the meal cost $1 short of $50!). But it was still a good deal anyway for that amount of food.

Overall experience: 4.5 out of 5 yummy bites.
Value-for-money: Definitely!

Restaurant Details
9 Bishan Place, #01-33,
Junction 8 Shopping Centre
Singapore 579837
Tel: 6258 3577

Opening Hours:
11.30 am to 11 pm (Mon to Sun)

Watami Website:
www.watami,com.sg