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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Dim Sum at Dragon Palace

After meeting at the ATFT Food Photography Workshops, I started following Nini's blog.

It appears that we always lunch at the same places around town so we decided to meet up for lunch. We decided on dim sum at Dragon Palace - how better to beat Monday-itis, right?

Dragon Palace Menu
It's a pet peeve of mine to see / hear people refer to "Dim Sum" as "Dim Sim". "Dim Sum" is this style of food / eating, "Dim Sim" is some Australian-created Westernised-Chinese deep fried dumpling.

Anyhoo, apart from the minor annoyance, to both Nini's and my delight we both are not fussy eaters and both love seafood! We ordered the usual:

"Har Gau" - Prawn Dumplings

"Chee Cheong Fun" - Prawn in Rice Noodle Rolls

"Xiao Long Bao" - Soup Dumplings

Soft Shell Crab

"Feng Zhao" - "Phoenix Claws" a.k.a. Chicken Feet

"Kai Lan" - Chinese Broccoli

And finished off with some "desserts":

Egg Tarts - My Favourite!
"Liu Sa Bao"

"Liu Sa Bao" - Fluffy dumplings with gooey salted egg goodness
Many people have tried to get me to have these since forever, but I'm usually obsessed with egg tarts so have never really been interested. But one very recent day, since introduced to these by my old school friend, I have never turned back. So so good!

Dim sum regulars will notice that some "staples" were missing, e.g. "Siu Mai" (little dumplings of pork and prawn), "Char Siu Bao" (bbq pork buns) and "Loh Mai Kai" (sticky rice with pork and mushrooms wrapped in leaf). But there were only two of us and I say we did really well! And yes, it was a very satisfying dim sum session.

PS: Some of you may notice that I have referred to the dishes in a mixture of Chinese dialects - I've always referred to them this way and I don't know all of them in just one dialect!

Dragon Palace City Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon

Friday Lunch at Matsuri

My colleagues, S & H, and I decided to get Japanese one Friday. This was quite exciting as H is usually a solitary luncher and had never come out with us before.

We decided on Matsuri, the restaurant on the corner made infamous by the car crashing through the window. I've been to Matsuri a few times for dinner but have not actually been for lunch.

Matsuri
Daily Lunch Specials
Matsuri has daily lunch specials and Friday's special included:
- Tsukune (Skewered Chicken Meat Balls in Teriyaki Sauce)
- Shark Fin Flavoured Salad (Shark Fin Flavoured Jelly Fish with Vegetables)
- Tataki (Raw Beef with Garlic and Lime Vinegar Sauce)
- Seafood Mix Fry
- Sashimi


I decided to go with the special as it was a good variety and I love variety in my bentos.

S & H each decided on teriyaki beef and chicken from the main menu.

While waiting for our orders, we enjoyed the break from work and contemplated skipping work for the rest of the afternoon (reminiscent of skipping school).

Sparkling Water - None for me, thanks.

Teriyaki beef

Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Beef - Closer look
Our orders arrived and to our surprise, the teriyaki was very runny - it was only slightly thicker than the miso soup on the side!  :/  Regardless, S & H both said they were still tasty.

Friday Lunch Special - Tsukune, Jellyfish Salad, Tataki, Seafood Tempura, Sashimi
Nothing unexpected in my bento. Every element was perfectly cooked and I loved every bite to the end.

Friday Lunch Special - Tsukune, Jellyfish Salad, Tataki, Seafood Tempura, Sashimi
Tsukune - I've had horrible gluggy, floury, tasteless, oily (any other adjectives!?) fried balls from other places, but these were cooked as they should be - bouncy with a slight crunch on the outside - no greasiness or glugginess at all.

Jellyfish Salad - If you've never had jellyfish salad before, it really isn't that scary. The jellyfish is sorta like crunchy noodles, but the crunch is more like a chicken cartilage crunch. Ok, maybe that's not going to entice you to try it, but I promise, it's good and nothing scary. Oh, and if you have had jellyfish salad before, the one at Matsuri is good!

Beef Tataki - Sliced very thinly and very tender.

Seafood Tempura - As it should be - delightfully crunchy outsides with juicy insides and no oiliness!

Sashimi - There was tuna and salmon sashimi. A couple of the slices of the salmon sashimi I had was slightly sinewy, but only very slightly. Apart from that, the sashimi was beautiful, melt-in-your-mouth slices, especially the tuna.

I haven't been back since but I'm planning on heading down there for a few more lunches on different days to try out the other specials!

Matsuri Japanese on Urbanspoon

Monday, 19 August 2013

ATFT Food Photography Workshops at The Terrace Hotel

A few weeks ago I attended the food photography and food styling workshops run by Billy of A Table For Two at The Terrace Hotel. It was a great experience - there was good food, I met awesome food bloggers who have inspired me to blog, and of course, I met Billy and learnt tips and tricks on food photography.

I think I'll let the photos tell the story:

ATFT Food Photography Workshop by Billy Law

Shoot. (Made me think of "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" by Lynne Truss)

Billy's World - Macbook Air, Lightroom, Canon EOS 5D & Food!

Billy

Billy

Billy was a very down-to-earth person. So easy to talk to and he was a great teacher too! The workshops over two days comprised of a variety of participants at different levels (beginner, amateur, professional) and of different interests (food bloggers, journalists, professional photographers, and uh, me - hobbyist I suppose?). Regardless, Billy was able to explain different concepts so that it could be understood by all of us, which is a hard task!

A play with props and lighting

A play with composition

With some of the bloggers I met
The bloggers I met pictured here included Nini (middle) and Chompchomp (2nd from right).


Cameraman
This guy (I forgot his name!) was one of the best waitstaff I've ever encountered. He was very attentive the whole time, provided great service, and such a great person to converse with. Here he was very generous taking group photos with the numerous cameras as you can see.

Billy & I
Ah, and of course I had to end the day with the obligatory photo with Billy. :)