Sunday, November 29, 2009

Home Dining with Couscous

(Above) My dardar cooking while the greedy girl(Shayna) looks on with a smile.

Over the weekend, my dearest wife cooked Italian style couscous for dinner. Couscous is derived from semolina wheat that is coated with wheat flour. When cooked, it becomes a serving of very fine grains of fragrant rice. Intially introduced by the Middle East, it has become a mainstay in Italian cooking.

We bought a packet of San Remo's packaged couscous from Cold Storage. Chopped Bacon strips were first fried and put aside.

(Above) Bacon in the pan

The bacon would provide some light meaty flavoring. Chicken broth was then heated to boiling point whereby the couscous was then added in. The pot was then covered and the fire turned off.

After about 3-4 min of simmering, butter was added into the couscous and mixed in over low heat. Then the couscous was left to simmer with the heat off. Finally, all the seasoning comprising of ground pepper, sea salt, dried mixed herbs was added in together with the other main ingredients such as bacon for meat and vegetables like capsicum and chervil. All these brought the flavors together within the couscous.

The ingredients for the couscous(above) appears to be quite light but do not be deceived as couscous,being wheat makes for a full meal even with a small serving. Simple yet delicious.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

At The Retreat Spa @ Changi

If you are looking for a classy massage spa where you don't want to be pushed to purchase packages and where you want professional, discrete and good service, do try out the Retreat Spa @ Changi Village hotel. It's where we go to have a good body massage. We tried their couple package for our first wedding anniversary celebration and it's really nice since you can have a bubbling jacuzzi on the rooftop with your loved one, eating chocolate fruit fondue, sipping wine and watching the planes fly by and then proceed on to a relaxing full body wrap and massage. The service there has been very good and the massage really perks you up. Although we just selected ala carte items on our recent trip there, they provided us with a couple room at no extra charge and which provided a cozy and private atmosphere for us to relax. Some pictures of the couple room we took.You can find out more about their packages and services at :

(Above - The couple room we were given , cozy and private )

(Above - The room is quite spacious with a sofa for us to enjoy some fondue)

(Above- The steambath we had before proceeding on to a shower )

(Above- The jacuzzi in our couple room )

Dinner at Cafeteria IL Lido @ Suntec

(Above) Interior of Cafeteria IL Lido

Over the weekend, we had dinner at Cafeteria IL Lido located at Suntec city since it was recommended by 8 days. We found the menu quite limited in it's choices and well, while the food was not bad, it didn't strike us as something to die for or to return to. Just try once for the the experience. Maybe expectations from us were high since it was a casual offshoot of the fine dining IL Lido Italian restaurant at Sentosa. We shared the smoked duck pizza which is thin crusted with gooey cheese and slices of smoked duck meat and the Scallopine Mushroom which is a filling beef course served with a sumptuous wine-based sauce, with ratatouille on the side.

(Above and Below - Smoked Duck pizza )

(Above - Scallopine Mushroom )

As we went at five plus, there wasn't really anyone around other than a couple at another table. Hence, service was prompt as expected since there weren't many people. It cost about nearly $30 for our orders and we left feeling somehow not quite satisfied. To be fair, just treat it as a fast food Italian food joint and you won't have your expectations let down but still we felt it could have been better.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Having fresh sashimi at Sakuraya Fish Mart

We usually go to Sakuraya Fish Mart at Parkway Parade basement #B-183D for value for money and fresh sashimi and just fail to understand why there are crowds at places like Sakae Sushi hankering after expensive, small pieces of not really good grade sashimi. Sakuraya also stocks many Japanese food items and is just a little non pretentious place that offers good food.

(Above) Our platter of sashimi

(Above) Sashimi prawns - succulent and juicy

(Above) Sashimi scallops - natural sweetness and tender to the bite

Usually, a very full and good meal at Sakuraya ranges between $30 - $40. The quality and quantity beats any reasonably or even higher priced establishments hands down in our honest opinion. You just go to the glass counter, pick your sashimi based on your liking and budget and the chef will slice for you the sashimi and prepare it with shredded turnip. Do give it a try if you have not. Don't forget to try their miso soup(below) which is much more worth than the green tea.