Turning 28 At Nieuw Amsterdam

IMG_9898-1

Turning a year older is no doubt a special occasion. But this year, it was really special to me. Next year, I will be celebrating as a mum! (: Can’t be any more excited about that! As we get older, birthdays just become a time where we head out to have good food. No longer did we have the huge celebrations, just quiet ones now, which I actually enjoy more! Just a small intimate affair with my loved ones. hehe

Nieuw Amsterdam

Address : 106-112 Hardware Street

Melbourne Vic 3000

Website

Nieuw Amsterdam has been on my to-go list for a while now, so I knew exactly where I wanted to go to celebrate turning a year older! Absolutely loved the atmosphere when we stepped into this American Bistro, and the wait staff were really friendly as well!

Our drinks

Being pregnant, I couldn’t have any alcohol, so I ordered lemon lime bitters instead. The sister-in-law couldn’t resist the cider and the Mr had a dark beer (sorry I didn’t get the exact name! haha). The food at Nieuw Amsterdam are mainly sharing plates and that’s exactly what we did! Although we did order quite a bit. haha We were definitely hungry (:

New York Sour Dough

The night of food started with a loaf of New York sourdough with some beautiful creamy butter! It had a really crispy outer crust and the bread was still soft in the middle. We definitely wanted more of it, but was reserving our stomach space for the food we ordered! hehe

Pig trotter and ham hock nuggets

These little gold nuggets were absolutely delicious! With a great crunch with every bite, the mixture of pig trotters and ham hock just melts in your mouth and you wouldn’t be able to resist going for more! Sitting on the nugget is a thin slice of a pickled radish, which cuts through the richness of the dish. AMAZING!

BBQ Scallops with mango gazpacho, avocado and chilli

Our second appetiser is perfectly cooked BBQ scallops sitting in mango gazpacho, with avocado and chilli! Scallops are one of my favourite ingredients of all time. I could have it in any way – sashimi, pan fried, grilled. Give it to me! haha Though it seems like there is a lot of flavours going on, but everything worked together!

Chicken waffles

I was craving for waffles for the longest time, so when I saw this on the menu, I couldn’t resist! A thin waffle topped with chicken terrine, pate and a super crispy chicken skin! YUM! Don’t worry, I didn’t have my pate hehe but it was still delish! The small but mighty chilli jam just brings the whole dish together and the flavour of sweet and spicy just bursts in your mouth! I was one happy girl! hehe

Southern style pork belly chops

This, my dear readers, was the best dish of the night. Tender and melt-in-your-mouth pork belly which was just full of flavour, topped with pork crackling and sauerkraut! Couldn’t get enough of it and just wanted to devour the whole bowl!

Southern style pork belly chops

Absolutely divine! A definitely most order dish when you do head there! (:

Jerk chicken

The Mr chose the jerk chicken dish with crispy rice and black bean puree! The jerk chicken was tender and had a good chilli kick to it and went really well with the crispy rice! The only down part of this was the pineapple salad, which really was just pieces of pineapple, and was a tad bit sweet for my liking.

Smoked beef brisket

I chose the last main : Smoked beef brisket with carrot remoulade! I requested for the beef to be cooked through, and it wasn’t tough! Wheee! (: So thankful that the chefs were happy to accommodate to my dietary requirements!

Dutch potato fries with spiced garlic mayo

As a side, we got the dutch potato fries with a side of spiced garlic mayo! Can’t turn down crispy thick cut fries. Simple but delish!

The Nieuw chocolate bar

As we were all quite full by the time we finished our appetisers and mains, we decided to share just one dessert. The one that caught my attention is the Nieuw Chocolate Bar! When it came, I couldn’t be happier with my choice! A rich and decadent chocolate bar topped with banana cake, brûlée bananas and tonka bean ice cream! It was so yum I wanted to have another, though there wasn’t much space left in my tummy. haha

 It was definitely a great night and I can’t thank the Mr and sister-in-law enough to celebrate this special day with me! Nothing beats celebrating with loved ones and having great food is just the icing on the cake! Will definitely be back to try the other dishes on the menu! hehe

Nieuw Amsterdam on Urbanspoon

 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Remember to always cook and bake with love! 

My Biggest Project : Rainbow Cake

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Layer cakes were never a specialty of mine, but when the opportunity came up to make something special for a first birthday, I just couldn’t resist! If you follow me on instagram (@lianneelow) I’m sure you’ve seen endless photos of Paige who turned one last year. I love her like she’s my own, so I wanted to do something special for her as well!

Stacking the layers

Rainbow was the theme of her party, so inevitably, the only cake I could think of was rainbow cake! Being ambitious, I also wanted to make all 7 layers out of natural colouring and flavouring. So after much research, I came up with the flavours and decided to give it a try. As much as I wanted natural colouring, the colours of the fruits just didn’t stand out as much as I wanted to after being baked, so for the actual cake, I decided to put a drop or two of colouring paste just to make it pop!

Cupcake pops

On a side note (just cause the word pop reminded me haha), I also made some cupcake pops for the party! Though it was time consuming to make them, I enjoyed every single moment – from molding them into their shapes, dipping them into melted chocolate (like yummeh!) and to sprinkling them with 100’s and 1000’s! Could totally imagine a kid doing it as a fun activity too! Hehe

plan drawn

So here’s a draw up of my plan: 7 flavours and all stacked and iced with my favourite cream cheese frosting! Mmmmm!

I wasn’t too worried about baking the 7 individual layers, I was more worried about constructing it and how high it would actually be! It was definitely the highest cake I’ve made in my life!  The only thing I was really worried about was transporting the cake to the party as I was going to be driving alone! I think my life was shortened about 10 years in that 10 minutes of driving! Haha

It was all worth it though, to see the faces lit up at the party and hearing all the compliments from the guests! Definitely made my day! The next thing that made my heart beat really quickly was the cutting of the cake and revealing to see if there were 7 distinct layers. And….

Revealing the layers inside

TADAH!!! (: I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! I’m sure I let out a loud sigh of relief the moment I took the first slice of cake out and served it! A happy dance was definitely in order! Hehe  I have to admit, there were some layers that I was probably a bit too heavy with the colouring towards the end (was going colour happy haha), cause I really wanted the colours to stand out. But please know that you can always cut that down to your own preference, or you can just cut that out too!

Rainbow Cake 

Ingredients : (20 cm round baking tin, repeat 7 times)

120g plain flour

80g caster sugar

40g unsalted butter, room temperature

120ml milk

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla paste

1 egg

Wilton icing food gels (I used a toothpick to add the colours)

For the different layers : (add food gel colouring till desired colour or leave it out if you wish)

Red – 3/4 cup fresh raspberry, mashed + red food gel

Pink – 3/4 cup fresh strawberries, mashed

Purple – 3/4 cup blackberries, mashed + purple food gel

Blue – 3/4 cup blueberries, mashed + blue food gel

Green – Zest of 2 limes, 3 tbs juice + green food gel

 Yellow – Zest of 2 lemons, 3 tbs juice + yellow food gel

Orange – Zest of 1 naval orange, 3 tbs juice + orange food gel

Steps : 

1) For each layer of cake : Grease and line the baking tin with baking paper. Preheat oven to 165 degrees celcius.

2) In a medium bowl, combine the plain flour and baking powder. In a mixing bowl, add the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla paste and mix till pale and fluffy. Alternate the flour mixture with milk (flour,milk,flour) until well combined.

3) Fold in the flavouring and colouring for each layer. Careful not to over mix.

the red layer - raspberry

4) Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and tap it on the counter to allow all the air bubbles to come to the surface. Bake for 18 mins or until the skewer comes out clean. Allow the layers of cake to cool completely before assembling.

The yellow layer - lemon

Cream Cheese Icing (From the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)

900g icing sugar

375g cream cheese

150g unsalted butter, softened

Steps :

1) Beat the icing sugar and butter in a mixing bowl until well combined.

2) Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium high, and beat until it’s light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Do not over beat as it will turn runny.

Cream cheese icing

3) To assemble : Place the red cake layer at the bottom, place 2 heap tbs of cream cheese icing on the cake and spread it out uniformly using a palette knife. Place the orange layer on top and repeat the process. Once you reach the top layer (pink), frost the top and side of the cake till it’s smooth and even.

Rainbow cake success!

Enjoy! (: I love how I could actually taste the fruits in every single layer, and they actually do work well together although it’s impossible to fit all 7 layers in one bite! haha

Paige eating the cake

It was such an honour that my cake is the first cake Paige has eaten (:  How pretty is her dress!

Happy 1st birthday Paige

It is many months after the actual birthday, but happy 1st birthday Paige! Can’t believe how quick it has been and she’s such a big girl now! (:

Paige and Us

I can’t wait till I am able to make my own bub’s cake and I will definitely be more than happy to make this cake again!

Have a good mid week everyone! (:

Remember to always bake and cook with love! Till the next post, xx

Celebrating a Marriage : Anada

Karen's big day!

A couple of weeks back, I was lucky enough to attend a friend’s special day and it was beautiful (: After the ceremony, we went for a small celebration and I was asked to find a place that would be fitting for the occasion. I think I found the perfect place!

IMG_9612-1-1

Anada has been on my to-go list for the longest time, and I was so glad we headed there to celebrate their beautiful day! It’s such a cosy place and the ambience was perfect! Not to mention how delicious the food was! I’ve not had spanish food ever since I came back from Barcelona, and that was almost a year back! How time flies!

We were seated at the long table by the window and I was seated at the sofa seats, facing the restaurant. I love being able to see the hustling & bustling of the kitchen, staff and the bar. Just makes the night even more interesting!

Drinks of the night

Of course, I couldn’t have any drinks that night. I stuck to my water. But our friends ordered a couple to try! You can’t really go wrong with ordering Sangria at a Spanish restaurant. The cava sangria had a good balance of cava and citrus, just what a sangria should be! The newly weds ordered the cocktail – papa doble. It was refreshing and had a really good citrus flavour! Definitely something I will try once I can have a drink (or two haha)

As for the food, we decided to order some tapas, a main and a couple of paellas to share among the 6 of us. We were actually quite filled up by the end of the night!

fried cauliflower

The first tapas we had was the fried cauliflower with zataar and house yoghurt. This was my favourite tapas of the night! The cauliflower was nicely caramelised on the outside, soft and tender on the inside. Together with the tangy house yoghurt, it was absolutely delicious!  Wanted to order one all for me (and bub)! hehe

fried aubergine

Next up, the fried aubergine with a dollop of labne, chilli and mint! This was really flavourful but would have been even better if the aubergine was slightly warmer. It went really well with the labne though!

Bone marrow on toast

The last tapas we ordered was the bone marrow on toast with wagyu cecina. I’m not a huge fan of bone marrow and I couldn’t have the cecina, so I gave this a miss. However, everyone else said that it was a very delicious small treat! They definitely enjoyed this a lot cause they were still talking about it at the end of dinner!

Crispy pork belly

This, ladies and gentlemen, is hands down the best dish of the night! Crispy pork belly with meat that melts in your mouth, sitting on a bed of smokey aubergine. I was definitely in pork heaven after my very first bite! The crackling was so crispy and perfectly seasoned, I wanted more!

Chicken and seafood paella

After all the tapas and pork belly, we were definitely looking forward to the paellas! Haven’t really had good paella in Melbourne so I was really hoping this place would be it! And it sure didn’t disappoint! The chicken and seafood paella was flavoursome and the rice was al dente, just the way it should be!

arroz negro paella

The squid ink paella was also really delicious, and there is just something sexy about the black rice against the seafood. haha but it might just be me thinking that! I have to admit though, I do prefer the chicken and seafood one. I think it might be because I have a constant craving for tomatoey food! hehe

Anada

We definitely enjoyed ourselves at Anada, and I can definitely say that I will be back again for the fried cauliflower and the crispy pork belly! Can’t wait!

Añada on Urbanspoon

Would just like to congratulate Karen and Patrick on their beautiful marriage. May you have endless years of love for each other, and may it continue to grow every single day! (: Hope your week is going well dear readers, remember to always cook and bake with love! Till the next post, xx

Galloping into the Year of Horse with Homemade Bak Kwa

photo 3-1-1

Happy Lunar New Year my dear readers! (: So sorry for the lack of posts! I’ve been back in Singapore and spending as much time as I could with my family. But I’m back and ready to share lots with you, so please hang in there with me. I promise to make your time worthwhile!

I’m not sure what your traditions are for Chinese New Year, but for me, it’s about coming together as a family and feast on delicious food! Of course it’s not always about food, it’s also about spending time with your loved ones and just reminescing on the good things from the past year, setting goals for the new one!

There are many different kinds of Chinese New Year goodies that we love to eat. Lucky for me, I got to eat my fair share before I flew back to Melbourne. But there is one that I didn’t quite get to have and also sadly, we aren’t allowed to bring it back cause it’s meat. BAK KWA! It’s like a chinese pork jerky that is sweet and salty and just delicious!

homemade bak kwa

Singaporeans really do love their bak kwa, and many would actually queue for hours to get some! So instead of queueing (plus I don’t think I can get any that are similar to those back home), I decided to try making them this year!

The best thing about this is that you can freeze it and just grill it when you feel like having some! Trust me. Once you have a bite, you would definitely want to keep some in your freezer. These are so addictive! So give them a go, you won’t regret it!

Homemade Bak Kwa (adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover)

Ingredients :

900g mince pork

130g caster sugar

2 tbs light soy sauce

1 tbs shaoxing wine

2 tbs oyster sauce

1 1/2 tsp thick dark soy

1/4 tsp five spice powder

Ground white pepper

1 tbs honey

Steps :

1) Marinade the mince pork a day before you intend to make it. In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and mix with a pair of chopsticks.

Marinating the mince pork

Stirring the mixture in one direction

2) Make sure you stir it in one direction and until the mixture becomes gluey. Do make sure it’s gluey as it will allow the meat to stay as one piece after being baked. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and place it in the fridge overnight or for at least 3 hours.

Gluey mixture

3) Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celcius. Spread the marinated pork mince thinly onto the baking tray using a spatula.

pork mince mixture spread onto baking tray

4) Bake the pork mince for 15 mins and remove it from the oven. Allow it to cool slightly before cutting it into desired shape and size using scissors or a pizza cutter. If you intend to freeze it, allow them to cool completely before placing them in a zip lock bag and freeze it up to 2 weeks.

baked and cut

5) Turn the grill on at 240 degrees Celcius and grill one side for 5 mins before flipping and grilling the other side for a further 5 mins, until the meat is golden brown or slightly charred on the sides. Let is cool down (it actually tastes better the day after it’s grilled!) and enjoy! (:

homemade bak kwa

So you ready to make some bak kwa? You’ll love it for sure! Have a prosperous year of the horse everyone!!

Remember to always cook and bake with love.

Turning 27 (Part 2) : Little Hunter

Little Hunter

When I was planning where to head for dinner with the Ho Clan for my birthday a few weeks back, I happened to read a post by Miss D’s post on Little Hunter and I knew instantly where I wanted to go! (: I have to say, Melbourne is full of surprises! Ever so often, you would hear about a gorgeous new cafe or restaurant and thus my ever growing list of places to try! hehe Little Hunter was no doubt one of them! Especially when Gavin Baker (was a sous chef at Fat Duck, London) and Pete Evans are the talents behind this grill house. I definitely couldn’t wait! (:

Little Hunter

Because we were celebrating, the Mr ordered a bottle of Goaty Hill Riesling 2012. Riesling has always been one of my choices of wines when dining out, as it has sweet fruity tones and this had flavours of citrus and green apple. Really smooth and crisp! hehe How cute is the print on their wine glass? I couldn’t stop snapping photos of it. haha There were a few communal tables and also booth seats! I wish I knew, cause I would have definitely requested for one. hehe I’m not sure about you, but our table is always a tad bit small for the amount of food we order. haha Oops! That’s definitely not a bad thing though hehe

Garlic pull apart bread with chicken skin butter

Our meal begun with a complimentary serve of pull apart bread and chicken skin butter. Yes, dear readers, you’re not seeing things! I did say chicken skin butter! This is a delicious little pot of gold! I know it sounds like something that might be heavy and overly rich, but it tasted nothing like that! It was smooth with little bits of golden crispy chicken skin pieces and just melts the moment you spread on the warm bread. It was some tasty, tasty (and did I say tasty?) butter! We definitely wanted more! The bread was soft and just full of flavour. Just a great way to start the night!

Beef on toast

We decided on three entrees and one of them were ‘beef on toast. It was a layer of beef carpaccio, over a layer of smooth and rich chicken liver parfait and when you reach the bottom, there was a crispy layer of crusty crouton. The dish is dressed with a mixture of gherkins and chives and the acidic mixture cuts through the richness of the dish. It was so good and I just wanted more!

Pork crackling

The mr would never miss the chance of ordering a serve of pork crackling if it’s on the menu! This was so crispy and crunchy and addictive! We just kept popping them into our mouths! They were beautifully seasoned with paprika and cheddar, and served with a smooth apple sauce. I just love the combination of pork and apple sauce, a match-made in heaven (:

Cured kingfish

Our last entree was the cured kingfish.The fish was so fresh and had a subtle sweetness. Every mouthful had the popping of fish roe and a slight spiciness of the roast peppers. Not only was the flavours beautiful, the plating was impeccable. Like art on a plate! Edible art of course. hehe

Ribeye steak with bone marrow

As Little Hunter was a grill house, we had to try the steaks on the menu. Each of us ordered a different cut of steak and I have to say, they cooked every cut to perfection! The Mr ordered the Robbin’s Island waygu ribeye with bone marrow (he loves marrow!) and beef fat butter. The meat was melt in your mouth and just full of flavour! And how sexy are the grill marks? Just love the criss-crosses that gives a nice char flavour to the steak as well! NOMS!

Blackmore waygu flank

Melissa ordered the Blackmore wagyu flank with cajun flavours and avocado. I would never have thought that avocado goes well with steak, but it did! The flank, though not the usual cut you would order, was cooked to medium rare and bursting with flavour! Definitely a happy belly there (:

Cape grim fillet mignon

I couldn’t go pass the Cape Grim fillet mignon! This melt in your mouth cut was coffee and wood smoked and really didn’t need anything at all. Every mouthful just melted in my mouth. I was definitely the happiest girl that night!

Our sides for the night

With all the meat we were having, we had to order some sides to balance it out. We had the Little Hunter fries which was chunky and crispy. And grilled cabbage! This was no ordinary grilled cabbage, it was one that packed a punch! The sweetness of the cabbage was counter balance by the saltiness of the anchovies and blue cheese and the tanginess of the hazelnut vinegar. I’m not a huge fan of blue cheese, but this was YUMMILICIOUS! Love the crunch of the toasted hazelnuts too! This is one side you don’t want to miss!

Short Mach

After indulging on all the delicious and rich food, the Mr needed a digestive ; a short macchiato. It’s a new ritual of his after being introduced to him by his Italian weightlifting buddy! hehe and He’s loving it (:

Frangipane

Of course, desserts are a must to have a complete meal. haha Well, at least it is for us it won’t be complete without something sweet! hehe I knew exactly what I wanted, and I took charge of ordering the desserts to share. haha As we were already quite full, we ordered two for the three of us! First up : the Frangipane ! I loved how it looked! Just looks like a fried egg on the plate! hehe Instead, it’s meringue with a delicious and tangy passionfruit curd and a refreshing peach sorbet! So so good! The frangipane cake was slightly dense (though still light) but I personally love dense cakes so I was one happy girl!

Double chocolate mousse

The double chocolate mousse was one so rich and decadent! Absolutely loved it! It has an airy layer of white chocolate at the bottom and dark chocolate on top. The coffee cream went so well with the chocolate (almost similar to a tiramisu, but richer), with the bite of the cocoa nib brittle! Loved every single bite!

Ho Clan

So that concludes our beautiful meal! (: Just want to thank the Ho Clan with all my heart for making the night a fab one – filled with good food, good wine and lots of laughter! (: Love you both!

The mr and I

Happy weekend everyone! (:

Remember to always cook and bake with love! 

Little Hunter on Urbanspoon

Turning 27 (Part 1) : Brunch at Code Black Coffee

Turning 27

“Everyday is a birthday; every moment of it is new to us; we are born again, renewed for fresh work and endeavor”
~Issac watts

Good evening dear readers! (: I hope you’ve had a good weekend and your Monday is going smoothly! Cause I had an absolutely beautiful weekend celebrating my hatchday! hehe (: And it couldn’t have been any better! It started with a birthday brunch with my favourite girls (Daisy, Julie, Peachie & Melissa) at Code Black Coffee in Brunswick!

Code Black Coffee

Code Black Coffee

Add : 15-17 Weston Street, Brunswick Vic 3056

Website : http://www.codeblackcoffee.com.au

Code Black Coffee is located just behind Barkly Square in Brunswick and it’s a nicely converted warehouse. The interior design is beautiful and gives a really warm feeling! Unfortunately, they didn’t have a table big enough for the 5 of us at the time we arrived, so we had to sit outside. Thank goodness the weather was bright and and sunny that morning and there were no bees around! hehe (:

our drinks

We started our day with hot cuppas! I was craving for some coffee so decided to go for a cappuccino instead of my usual chai. The coffee was nice and strong, and definitely perked me up! hehe Melissa had her usual hot chocolate, Peachie ordered her new love – chai latte, Daisy had her skinny mocha and dearest Julie (fellow April baby) had a soy mocha! I love how no two cups are the same! hehe Barristers honestly have my upmost respect with the amazing skills they have!

My cappuccino

Had to post another picture of my cappuccino. Love the contrast between my coffee, the cup and the table! (:

Smoked ham hock coquettes with cauliflower puree, baby spinach and a poached egg

When browsing the menu, there were so many things I wanted to try! But one thing that called out to me was the smoked ham hock coquettes! My hats off to the chef, as all our food were so beautifully plated and you just didn’t wanna destroy it! It was a work of art! hehe My coquettes were laid on the creamiest and smoothest cauliflower puree with sautéed baby spinach and pine nuts. In the middle was the perfectly poached egg that burst with the slightest touch of the knife!

Runny yolk

The coquettes were crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy in the middle! And the cauliflower puree, omgness. It was the best bit ever! I could eat it all day! So creamy but light at the same time! Seriously amazing! Needless to say, my plate was close to being licked clean! haha (: I am totally addicted to cauliflower puree. Who isn’t? heh

Open bacon steak sandwich

Melissa had the open bacon steak sandwich and it came with like a whipped avocado. It was delicious and so so smooth! With the tangy-ness of lemon, just cut through the saltiness and richness of the bacon steak! hehe Melissa loved the dish and couldn’t get enough of the bacon steak! hehe She mentioned that it’s even better than ham steaks which we usually have at home on Sundays! hehe Guess I have to hunt for some bacon steaks soon! hehe

Baked Eggs

Miss Peach knew instantly what she wanted – baked eggs. It had a smooth leek puree (I have to say they do amazing purees here!), baby spinach and goats cheese! A pity that the baked eggs were a little over done but she said the flavours were lovely! The best thing on the plate for her is definitely the polenta fingers! hehe Nice and crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. She loved it! hehe Of course, she couldn’t resist ordering a side of mushrooms! hehe

Huon smoked salmon

Julie ordered the Huon smoked salmon served with a smooth and rich potato aioli with fried capers. The dish looked so so pretty with the heirloom tomatoes placed so artistically! heh But sadly, the smoked salmon was a tad bit too salty! But I would definitely be able to finish a huge bowl of the potato aioli! (:

Australia's best toasted sandwich 2012

Miss Daisy surprising didn’t order anything sweet, but that’s because she (the awesome baker that she is) baked us April babies a beautiful birthday cake! hehe So she was reserving her sugar for later. (: She decided to order the Australia’s best toasted sandwich 2012 because she got drawn in by the polenta cake! I can’t blame her, it was one of the dishes I was close to ordering too! The dish was yum but Miss D said that it could be better if the polenta was a little more seasoned. Once again, her dish looked so so pretty! hehe Love it!

Birthday cake baked by Miss Daisy

The sweet queen baked us a beautiful Jamie Oliver’s pear and pistachio cake with a lemon & honey drizzle!  The cafe was really kind to allow us to cut and enjoy the cake in their premises! We were so thankful, cause there was no where else we could possibly cut the cake at! hehe Everyone that walked pass just kept staring at the cake, cause it looked like we bought the whole cake! haha Neither did they know it was homebaked by our dearest Daisy! hehe (: How beautiful does that look? Definitely worthy to be sold anywhere! hehe But please note this is not from the cafe itself.

Birthday cake by Daisy

The cake was slightly dense (and I love dense cakes haha) but was still crumbly! Love love love pistachios, so I was enjoying every single mouthful of it! hehe The lemon and honey drizzle added an extra tang to the cake which was so good! Thank you so much for your effort and time spent on baking us a delicious cake dearie! (: You’re the best! hehe I was greedy and took half of the cake home! haha Oops *hides*

Presents from the girls!

Not only did Peach and Daisy buy us birthday girls brunch, I was also lucky enough to receive presents from them! I was definitely pampered that day! hehe Ms Peach even baked us sugar cookies which were so yum! hehe Thank you all so much! Loved everything! Can’t wait to cook from the Nigella Lawson cookbook too! hehe

I really loved dining at Code Black Coffee and will definitely be back with the mr soon! (: Stay-tuned for the continuation of my birthday celebration! hehe Have a great week ahead everyone!

Remember to always cook and bake with love! (:

Code Black Coffee on Urbanspoon

{SG} One Year On

One year anniversary dinner

Time really flies, especially when you’re enjoying every second of every day. It’s already been 1 year since I married the love of my life! I can still remember the moment I said I do, and how he passed all the games set by my bridesmaids and opened my room door. I could still remember the smile on his face the moment he lifted my veil. Beautiful memories that I would always remember, and be thankful for. (: To mark our first year of marriage, the mr planned a romantic dinner at Salt Grill & Sky Bar. It’s located at the top of Ion (one of the newest shopping malls in Singapore) and has an amazing view! We went through a secret walkway to a pair of private lifts that lead us to the 55th level! The moment we exited the lifts till we were walked to our tables, I couldn’t stop saying wow in my head! haha

View from Salt

Just breath-taking! Couldn’t get enough of the skyline. Thankfully we had a window-seat, so I could take in the whole view, all night long (: Salt Grill & Sky Bar is opened by Luke Mangan, and not surprisingly, the mr chose a place that serves Modern Australian cuisine. We’ve never been to restaurants by Luke Mangan before (his first Salt is in Sydney), so we thought, why not? hehe I have to say, the mr was spot on with his choice! We were served by a very warm and personal staff, who looked after our every needs through the night. He made it a point to make sure we were enjoying our food and also made sure it was a night for us to remember.

pan seared scallops

One look at the menu, and I knew exactly what I wanted. I have a habit (a good one I would like to think) to order scallops as my entree whenever I’m at a fine-dining restaurant. For some reason, the scallop dish is always one of the stand outs of the night. And this was no different! The scallops were cooked to perfection, so so tender and mildly sweet. It was a perfect match with the chorizo sausages too! I slowly savoured each one, but I wanted more. hehe

tempura quail breast

The mr ordered the tempura quail breast with roasted legs. When it arrived, you could immediately tell it had some japanese influence to it. The quail was cooked to perfection and was very tender and succulent. The good thing was it was cooked different ways and the tempura version added a good crunch to the dish. YUM!

Veal with foie gras and mustard crust

Then came the main. I had the veal that is seared and poached to a perfect medium-rare that had a yummy foie gras and mustard crust, served with a pumpkin custard and red wine sauce. I don’t usually have veal, but this was really good! Though it was a little rare for my liking, the flavours were sensational! The foie gras just melted in my mouth and the sweetness of the pumpkin custard balances the dish out.

Crispy skin salmon

Though I liked my dish, I loved the mr’s dish more! hehe Doesn’t that always happen? You tend to love the dish your partner orders, and secretly hope he would give you more. That was me that night! The salmon was cooked to perfection! Super crispy skin, and still pink in the middle. Definitely a very good choice made by the mr. Amazing! Definitely recommend this if you’re a fan of seafood.

our sides

And as if we didn’t have enough food on our table, we decided to order some sides to share : roast mushrooms in garlic butter and truffle oil & parmesan fries. We loved the mushrooms; they were just little explosion of flavours in our mouth! So so good (: The truffle fries were alright, didn’t have the wow factor, but having a side of fries just worked with what we had.

pear tarte tatin

Of course, we couldn’t not order sweets! A little digestive for the night. hehe One dessert that I cannot go pass is a tarte tatin. It would always be one of my first choice of desserts. The first one I had was at Mr Hive’s Kitchen & Bar and that blew my mind! This one was a little smaller, and was also really delicious! Puff pastry and soft poached pears all caramelised and topped with some creme anglaise and double cream. HEAVEN!

Creme brulee

As I ordered something I love, it’s only fair the mr did too. Without a doubt, he chose the creme brulee. Plus, they were serving it with his favourite salted caramel ice cream! So I knew he was gonna pick this! The pastry chef was so sweet to write Happy Anniversary on the edge of the bowl! Was a super touching surprise. hehe Love personal touches like that! (: Just makes the night even better than it already was.

My love

Just want to say Happy Anniversary to my dearest mr once again! (: This post is late, but just want to tell you that I had an awesome night, and I am so blessed and thankful to have you in my life. I love you! Thank you for being you.

Happy Mid Week everyone! (: Remember to always cook and bake with love!