Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pasta and pig trotters

Warning: Although this is a post on Mother's Day, my sole intent is to indulge in food porn. So if you're not a foodie, skip this!

We decided to partake in a double celebration this year. Since my mother-in-law now lives with us, we thought it called for two Mother's Day meals. (In case you haven't noticed, this is a family that will use any excuse to makan.)

Saturday evening dinner was for my benefit and I requested for Italian cuisine, to satisfy my craving for gnocchi. I don't usually hanker for Italian food, but ever since I first tasted gnocchi about a year ago, it's been on my mind.

For those who don't know, gnocchi is pasta made from potato instead of wheat. It has a gooey texture and is less chewy than your regular pasta. It's actually quite jelak, so I can only manage a small portion of it at one sitting but it's decadently delicious with a cream sauce.

After checking out a few menus and reviews online, we decided on Pasta Fresca. This restaurant is one of the pioneering Italian restaurants in Singapore and we've been there a couple of times but for some reason, it's never been a regular haunt with us. In fact, this was our kids' first time there.

Here's what we ordered:

Croquettes (made from mashed potato, egg, mint and parmesan cheese) $9.80.

Lightly battered so it's crunchy outside and fluffy inside. The sauce with a dollop of cheese is fabulous.

Gnocchi with Mare e Monti sauce (tomato and cream sauce with crab meat and mushrooms) $18.90.

This was the star of the show. I was worried the dish would under-deliver since I had such high hopes for it. My worries were unfounded - it was YUMMMZ. The texture of the gnocchi was sublime and after tasting it, Kenneth and Lesley-Anne became gnocchi converts too. The sauce was superb, with generous pieces of crab meat, but we may order a cream sauce the next time (yes, there's definitely gonna be a next time!)

Tortellini with Mama Rosa sauce (tomato and cream sauce with mushroom and parmesan cheese) $17.10

This was Lesley-Anne's order, she loves tortellini. You can't really taste the meat filling but the pasta is very fresh and the sauce again, is excellent.

Quattro Formaggi pizza (4 cheeses pizza with emmenthal, Danish blue cheese, parmesan and mozzarella) $19.90

Andre chose this one and he loved it, declaring it the best pizza he'd ever eaten. The rest of us thought it was good but it wasn't our favourite. I think we prefer some meat toppings on our pizzas whereas Andre is Cheeseboy.

Ending with dessert - Tiramisu al Mascarpone e Caffe $9.30

This is a generous size, great for sharing. Some may feel there's not enough of a liquor taste but it's perfect for us with kids. It lasted all of 5 minutes at our table. I had to practically fend off poised forks and yell "Don't eat first! Let me take a photo!" to get this shot.

Mother's Day part 2 was Sunday lunch at Chui Huay Lim Teochew Restaurant. Located at the Chui Huay Lim Clubhouse at Keng Lee Road, this is a relatively new restaurant by the Jumbo group. My mother-in-law is Teochew and so am I, so this is a return to our roots!

And here's our order:

Traditional liver rolls $8

Deep fried prawn balls $12

"Puning" Fermented Bean Chicken $15 (half a chicken)

Jellied pig trotters $8

Stir-Fried Baby French Beans $10 (small)

Signature cold crab $38 (large)

"Gooey" oyster omelette $12

Fried mee suah $24 (medium)

For dessert, yam paste ("orh nee") $4 (individual serving)

This was our first visit to the restaurant and I must say, we were all wowed by the quality of the food. All the dishes managed to keep the authenticity of Teochew cuisine while bringing out the freshness and flavours of the ingredients. The chicken was an unexpected hit with tangy slivers of salted vegetable and the cold crab was divine.

It's not easy to impress our family when it comes to Chinese food cos my mother-in-law is a 5-star cook and we do eat out a lot, but this restaurant got top marks from all of us. Most definitely worthy of a visit (and re-visit).

The mandatory potent Chinese tea to complete the meal.

And so you don't say my Mother's Day was only about food, here are the cards made by my two very thoughtful, very sweet kids. (No prizes for guessing who made which card).

Here's hoping all you mums had an equally (to borrow Lesley-Anne's phrases) fun-filled, food-filled, family-filled Mother's Day!


Anonymous said...

Wah great food and beautiful cards!
Happy Mother's Day!


PS: my first post did not get thru I think...

monlim said...

QX: Happy Mother's Day to you too! I'm sure your precious dd did something special for you :)

Aiyah, can't tahan Blogger sometimes, always malfunctioning...

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mon! Nothing close to beautiful like yours...but more mind boggling. This year she used less effort to make her card but made me use more effort to read her card. It was on a "giddy-looking" pattern paper and she wrote all the words around the pattern in a trail with so tiny words that I had to follow in order to get her message. And alas,feeling a sense of sympathy for her mum with presbyopia, she has put the answer key behind the card should I fail to trace it. LOL

Anyway it is very characteristic of her to tease me whenever she gets a chance. I just have to accept her as uniquely her... We are uniquely bestowed to each other by God to accept each other's nonsense. :D


monlim said...

QX: Hahahaha, your dd is a real hoot! such a sense of fun and it's lovely to see you obviously have such a uniquely loving relationship :)

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