Tag Archives: restaurant

Merry Christmas: Chopsuey, Singapore

Before, after and during… Ok maybe context is irrelevant……..

I spend an undisclosed amount of time trawling through #sgig, seeking out the latest must-try eating spots in the eclectic foodie scene of Singapore.


I spied a number of brunch and dinner posts featuring a new addition to the scene, Chopsuey, a new ‘East meets West’ concept restaurant established by the people behind P.S. Cafe.  For foodies unfamiliar with P.S. Cafe, there were originally three sites in Singapore, boasting to-die-for Truffle Fries, however one of their branches was transformed into Chopsuey.

Christmas Eve 2013 approached much faster than I expected it to and before in knew it I was completely behind in finding somewhere to celebrate…. Until I remembered this venue and made a last minute booking which was accommodated for efficiently!


Set in Dempsey Hill, an area of restored army barracks which is now home to many other interesting eating venues, the restaurant interior is truly unique.  High ceilings and an airy old-time bungalow accommodates for diners ranging from small to large groups with beautiful marble tables.

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A snapshot of life @ Black by Ezard: Hello again, a Birthday and Family

With knowledge of the empty void of my WordPress has come waves of guilt and sadness I guess as a blogger of food I should say I’ve let my WordPress ‘feed’ ‘starve’??  On top of that there must also be an apology and some obligatory explaining for my prolonged absence from the blogging scene.

Once again university charged at me with a number of challenges this semester.  Every possible hurdle was presented, including an unexpected 2 day stint overseas!  Thus came about the limited time to post and well… engage in any food-filled activities.  Sadly and quite embarrassingly I embarked on an ‘eat to live’ rather than ‘live to eat’ mantra!

Now being the end of my first semester of second year I have somehow reached the half way mark in my degree without even realizing – apart from when I looked in the mirror after exams to see dark rings around my eyes!  It was a very stressful semester indeed, which ultimately led to a very rushed and crammed study period.  Nevertheless, I await my results in complete fear but take comfort in my time to begin renewing and refreshing the life of this blog while I do the same personally over this break.

I do have quite an overflow of photographs scattered between my phone and camera with a few eats that I had while slightly procrastinating and I can safely say that I have found some great places which I returned to numerous times and will continue to visit!  Posts to follow!

Time has certainly flown by as this blog has reached its 1 year mark, thus it is rather appropriate to bring it back to life with a Birthday post!

For as long as I can remember, my ‘Godfamily’ has been part of my life and many traditions have formed over the years, one of them being a meal that we share to celebrate my Godfather’s birthday.  As cliche as it sounds it honestly feels like it was just yesterday when we were celebrating last year and a familiar feeling of the crisp Sydney winter accompanies it!  This year there was a new addition to the family with my Godbrother’s little bundle of joy adding to the headcount as Lil’ Bro, Ip Girl (my godsister who is really just like my little sister J) and I are well and truly journeying away from the ‘children’ label!  It is quite scary yet awesome to think that my Godbrother, who I can still remember in his teens has now become a father, my Lil’ Bro is on the verge of finishing high school and Ip Girl who I used to feed in her high chair is about to become a ‘senior’ in high school……wow…


This year we made a trip to Black by Ezard at The Star – another tick on my ‘to try’ list!  The atmosphere there was rather special, as the floor to roof glass windows paneled across the restaurant to reveal a wonderful view of Pyrmont and the bright lights being channelled over from the CBD, which contrasted perfectly with the more intimate lighting of the restaurant itself.

Now onto the main attractions of the meal!  Funnily enough, all eleven of us ordered roughly the same dishes!

Appetite curbing devices in the form of brioche were presented and oh my they were divine!  Perfectly crisp on the outside coupled with sweet cloud like innards.   I still daydream about this brioche…mmmmmm…. brioche…..

OYSTERS freshly opened yuzu and wakame jelly

Out came a platter of oysters…how could I resist. Fresh and garnished with lemon and a great textural jelly component.

SASHIMI of hiramasa kingfish, sesame custard, edamame puree, chardonnay and shallot dressing

The sashimi entrée was absolutely delicious with the wonderful freshness of the king fish really shining.  My Godmother ordered hers without any lemon or lime (ah the joys of allergies!), which allowed us to make a comparison in flavours.  Mumma and I were in complete agreement that the king fish truly shone without the lime….interesting……

I was rather confused as to what those black crusted spheres were, so I decided they had to be taste tested.  The suspects were Bocconcini rolled in what I suspected to be the special Black Salt, which complemented the dish more texturally as to not overpower the sashimi feature.  The presentation was superb and such a genius idea!

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Restarting and Rebuilding: Mero Mero, Kensington Peking and more

This week I was rather heartbroken.  No, there is no tragic love story to share.  In my mind it is something worse!  The recovery process of my external hard drive did not fair too well in the end and I ended up losing ALL and I mean ALL my photos, which I have taken over the last four years.  Yes, it’s seems obscenely petty to be whining and dwelling on this when there are so many bigger things in life, but in a way I feel like the memories of my graduation, 18th birthday, family holidays and so forth have partially been lost.

Funnily enough when I think about it, this would not have happened say around 10 years ago.  I would have developed my photos and have had hard copies of them.  Oh how the convenience of technology has backfired on me.

Perhaps, I should take this as a sign??

It may be time for me to honestly start afresh and create new memories.  Maybe, it is a metaphorical disaster that is urging me to pursue something completely different this year.  Yes, it is rather sad that HSC English analytical techniques will forever run in my veins.  In all seriousness however, it is quite possible.  Perhaps I need to re-evaluate my goals?  Much pondering must be done now – quite appropriate really as this has coincided with a conversation I had with Mumma last night about what other options there were for me to pursue in my studies.

No matter, I hope 2013 will be a year, which I look back upon fondly and this whole shenanigans and (momentary) heartbreak will only be a miniscule fraction of the painting.

Moral of the story: NEVER EVER trust an external hard drive!!

Note to self: develop my favourite/most important photographs!

I don’t think I could have ended without a quick foodie-graph section!  I may as well start sharing some of these new memories with you all.  Here are a few of my eats of the week.
(Excuse some of the photo quality – I took a fair few of these on the go with my iPhone.)



Trips back to Sussex Street’s “Yummy Thai” for their delicious Fried Fish Set have become a weekly event!  Mumma and I went slightly crazy and ordered three different variations – Sweet Chilli, Lemongrass and Chilli and Chilli Basil.  We may have eaten all three between the two of us but it was hard to resist when fish is fried to perfection and it was in fact not overly filling!  I assume that the frying process renders off a lot of the fats etc, making the fish super crispy and light!  Our favourite still remains the Lemongrass and Chilli variant but the abundance of vegetables with the Sweet Chilli makes me quite the happy eater!


After hearing the sad fate of my photographs, I pulled myself together and headed to the city on Friday to run some errands for Mumma.  It was indeed a productive day and I treated myself to one of my favourite salads from Mero Mero located in Westfield’s Food on Five and my undisputedly favourite Soy Vanilla Latte from a hole in the wall Vietnamese joint on Clarence Street.  “Why is this Ming’s favourite salad?” you may ask.  Well, it’s “make your own salad” at Mero Mero and their ingredients are always fresh and full of flavour.  My usual combination consists of Baby Spinach, Avocado, Feta, Chilli, Pumpkin, Mushroom, Cucumber and Sundried Tomatoes topped with a Chilli Mayo Dressing.  It also helps when they provide a piece of soy and linseed on the side ;)!


I am proud to say I returned home from the city with a brand new Phillips Juicer as well – a health kick for the family!  We’ve been on the juice wagon for the last month and it really does wonders when one is feeling a bit under the weather or stressed (and Lil’ Bro is certainly feeling that with the HSC ahead!)

After picking Lil’ Bro up from his very long English tutoring session after his first week of HSC assessments, a quick, simple, enjoyable and fulfilling Friday night dinner was in order!

Drunken Chicken

Crispy Duck

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Shanghainese Nian Gao

Four Season Beans

Siew Mai

Kensington Peking is a deceptively great restaurant, which the family head to when in search of comforting Chinese fair, without having to face the chaos of Chinatown.  Must tries are their Drunken Chicken, which is so tender and wonderfully marinated, and their Crispy Duck, which can only be described as perfectly ‘crispy’ haha.  For the vegetable lovers, the Four Season Beans are what I think to be one of the best.  So don’t let the exterior of this restaurant fool you!

Stay tuned with my next post with photos from the last weekend of Chinese New Year!

P.S. I hope the new approach I’ve tried in this and the previous post of combining a few eats/events into one is being enjoyed.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to develop a style that doesn’t make everything seem too disjointed.
Kensington Peking on Urbanspoon

Ming xx

Unspoken Tradition: Signorelli Gastronomia

Hello Sydney!  I am now back on the Sydney foodie scene and blogosphere; however I come baring sad news for the blog.  My hard drive containing all my foodie photographs has succumbed to a horrible fate and is no longer working.  I have sent it off to the ‘doctors’ to see if anything can be recovered but that means a large proportion of my holiday snapshots are ‘lost in transit’.  I was hoping to share with you some of my favourite eats of all time, festive feasting and much loved memories from my trip, but I am not sure if such an event will occur.  Fingers crossed that the photos can be saved!!

In the interim, while I anxiously await the news of my hard drive’s fate, I thought I would share my first Friday night family dinner in Sydney for 2013.  Every Friday, my family picks up a tired and hungry Mumma from work and either head straight to our favourite/staple restaurant Golden Century or to a new destination, which I have scouted out according to everyone’s food craving.  It is a time which we end our busy week (and maybe celebrate ‘FRIDAY’) as a family with the company and sharing of good food – an unspoken tradition.

The first 2013 Friday in Sydney, led us towards Pyrmont in search of Italian cuisine, which Lil’ Bro had his heart set on.  A bowl of hearty pasta and a cheesy wood-fire oven pizza had been overlooked on our stay in Singapore, as 99% of the time we opted to filled our bellies with the local cuisine – no regrets!  We headed down Harris St, planning to dine at The Stars @ Pyrmont; a quaint Italian joint, however the sweltering heat had us make a double take when we stepped into its non-air conditioned premises.  The 45degree heat was too much to handle and we just needed somewhere cool and comfortable.

Mumma had recently attended a function at Signorelli Gastronomia, which was just a stone-throw away and after hearing rave reviews about it over the blogosphere I made a beeline for the car and gave instructions to Pappa to take us to the air-conditioned bliss!


We arrived around 6.30pm to find the restaurant rather quiet for a Friday night, although we were a little early.  The restaurant has seating within its own premises, which spills out into the bright and airy lobby of the office building in which it is situated.  We were seated at a comfortable bunker in the lobby and immediately began our search through the menu.

The hunger silencers of bread were brought to the table and I could not resist the crunchy crusts accompanied by the airy and soft innards.  I have serious regret for not snapping a photo of these delights!  Ah the simple things in life!  Sometimes their enjoyment is emphasised by the company of loved ones and cherished routine.

Our hunger drew our eyes straight to the main courses – we wanted a hearty meal and we wanted it straight away!  Being our first time dining at the restaurant, there were too many wonderful pastas to single out just one; from ‘Hand Made Ravioli’ to ‘Squid Ink Linguine with Alaskan Crab Meat’ and the mysterious ‘Risotto of the Day’.  “The result of this wide selection?” you may ask.  Mumma, Pappa and I decided upon three pasta dishes to share, ‘Potato Gnocchi’, ‘Risotto of the Day’ and ‘Spaghetti Chitarra’.


The ‘Potato Gnocchi’ was wonderfully flavoured!  It was definitely one of the best gnocchi’s I’ve had in a long while – retaining its chewiness, which was in perfect balance with the generic description of ‘fluffy goodness’.  It did not fall apart and crumble, nor did it melt into a gooey blob when popped into my mouth.  Instead, the perfectly cook pillow was texturally smooth and was surprisingly sweet, hinting at the pure freshness of the ingredients.  Ok, enough about the gnocchi itself.  The other stars of the dish were Calamari, Zucchini Flower and Buffalo Mozzerella.  My seafood yearning stomach was absolutely satisfied by the juicy, seared calamari.  The texture of the calamari was complemented wonderfully by the slight crunch of the zucchini flower and soft, subtle mozzerlla.  Mumma was in love with this dish!


My pick was the ‘Risotto of the Day’, a combination of Smoked Scamorza, Fresh Horseradish and Asparagus.  I was completely blown away by this dish and may have even preferred it to the “Potato Gnocchi” as the flavour had a real ‘kick’ to it.  ‘Scamorza’ is a type of Italian Cow Cheese and its smoked flavour was what I found to bring the components together, with the more subtly flavoured asparagus.  It wasn’t a texturally complicated cheese, thus providing the flavour and letting the texture of asparagus and horseradish shine, ringing true to the meaning of “Gastronomia”  – “the art and science of good eating”.  The beauty of sharing is the ability for each diner to experience the delight of the dish as well and who better to spread the foodie love with than the family at the end of the week?


Pappa thought the ‘Spaghetti Chitarra’ sounded interesting, however I think we were all a little disappointed with this dish as it paled in comparison to the wonderful flavours of the previous two.  Nevertheless, it is still worthy of praise – if I had not tried the other two dishes I would have been quite happy with this dish.  The spaghetti was cooked Al Dente and had a very different texture as it was handmade!  You could almost taste the effort that had been poured into creating such a simple base ingredient.  The ‘Chitarra’ was described as ‘pork cheek’ by the waiter and was scattered throughout the spaghetti, however I didn’t feel like it provided much flavour as the tomato base seemed to dominate.


Lil’ Bro was the odd one out as he chose to order ‘Stone Fired Oven Pizza’ with Italian Sausage, Mushrooms and Olive.  Taking ‘ownership’ over a majority of the pizza, we decided upon a trade – some pasta for some pizza.  Mumma had been raving about their pizza after her function and it definitely lived up to expectation.  We were in delight with wonderfully thin base and oozing cheese, which subtly complemented the stronger flavours of the sausage and olive.  Pizzas always remind me of relaxing nights in front of the television with the family, so it definitely brought something comforting and sentimental to the table.


As an accompanying snack, we couldn’t resist the bowl of fries, which were well cooked – not too oily and sprinkled with an interesting black salt.

After the clearing of his plate, Lil’ Bro looked at us with wide eyes and asked, “Dessert?”  The good thing about Friday dinners, is our stomachs’ default to ‘Indulgent Mode’.


I spied the words “Salted Caramel” on the menu and that was basically the end of it.  We ordered two “Salted Caramel Crème Brulee” as there would not be much sharing from the boys end of the table!  It was a well done dessert with the flavour of caramel taking on a perfect level of decadence, however I was quite disappointed with the missing ‘salty’ kick that I was holding out for.  I would have enjoyed the glaze to be slightly more ‘burnt’ as well, but the caramel flavour and crust had me quite happy.


Mumma suggested the “Baked Strawberry Cheesecake” and how glad I was that she did!  I found it to be even better than the “Crème Brulee”, with the subtle and light cheese playing well with the more acidic and sweet flavours of the strawberry.

Overall it was a casual and simple but delicious experience; however try to be seated within the restaurant itself as diners in the lobby are sometimes forgotten!  So if you’re in Pyrmont looking for a good eat, keep Signorelli Gastronomia in mind.

This is definitely a Friday dinner destination from now on, calling for visits to try their famous ‘Antipasti’ and other pasta dishes.  It is this unspoken tradition that has led to my experience of many different cuisines and the strong bond of the family – we are able to enjoy each others’ company within our busy schedules and uplift any negative tiredness or stressfulness with conversation and food!

Signorelli Gastronomia on Urbanspoon

Sharing is caring: Graze

As Mama says to me, “Food brings people together!”  Growing up in an Asian household, many memories were formed around the round dining table accompanied by numerous dishes laid out on the ‘lazy-susan’.  Meals have always been a family affair characterised by the sharing of daily tales and dishes.  So, when eating out, I love joints that are able to create this familiar feeling even within the world of fine dining.  Graze, Pyrmont does just that, even within its context of unusual and innovative cuisine of molecular gastronomy!

Ending the first week of university semester two (!!), the meal started off with their famous “Cauliflower Milkshake, Jamon & Cheese Toasty”.  Our waiter very kindly provided four little espresso cups, allowing us to split up the warm, creamy goodness of the milkshake.  I couldn’t resist dipping the oh so crispy toasty into the sea of joy, savouring every mouthful and sip of this unusual entrée!

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