Sunday Kitchen – Ondeh Ondeh Recipe

 Ingredients required

  1. Sweet Potato Mash (See #A1) – 64 grams
  2. Glutinous Rice Flour – 90 grams
  3. Coconut Milk – 90 grams
  4. Gula Melaka – 60 grams (or as much as you require to wrap in glutinous rice balls – See #C1)
  5. Desiccated Coconut – 50g (the more the merrier for coating really)
  6. Pandan Paste or Pandan Juice (Boiled down – see #B3)
  7. A Pinch of Salt

Note: Proportion of ingredients 1, 2 and 3 is always 64:90:90. If you want to make more, just adjust accordingly. This recipe makes about 14 Ondeh Ondeh.

Equipment required

  1. Digital Weighing Scale
  2. Steamer (for Desiccated Coconut)
  3. A Pot of Boiling Water (for cooking)
  4. Large Mixing Bowl

Steps

A. Prepare Sweet Potato Mash, Desiccated Coconut and Gula Melaka

  1. Steam the sweet potato, mash it up and push it through a strainer – this is to remove any bits and pieces of sweet potato and fibre threads. Set aside to cool till you are able to handle it.
  2. Get your desiccated coconut on to a plate with a pinch of salt. Set it in the steamer or however you usually steam for 20 minutes while you prepare the B. Dough.
  3. Chop Gula Melaka into small chunks – about the size of peas, set aside.

B. Dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix the glutinous rice flour with your coconut milk and knead slowly into a dough. If your dough is not coming together, slowly add more coconut milk and knead till you achieve your dough.
  2. Add sweet potato mash prepared in #A1 into the dough mixture in #B1 and knead it together to combine.
  3. Here’s when you add pandan paste till desired colour and combine it well. I would suggest starting with 1/2 teaspoon and slowly adding to desirable colour. Otherwise, blend about 10 pandan leaves and boil it down with 200ml of water, strain it through a cheesecloth to get pandan juice.

C. Wrap and cook! 

  1. Pinch a small piece of dough (about 13g each) and flatten slightly. Fill the center of the dough with Gula Melaka and roll them into a smooth ball.
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook your glutinous rice balls in the boiling water. When the rice balls floats to the surface, remove it with a slotted spoon and place these little babies into your desiccated coconut prepared in #A2.
  3. Roll it around to coat it generously with desiccated coconut and SERVE!

There are different variations of recipes for Ondeh Ondeh online, if you’ve tried others or have any suggestions to make this even better, do share! 🙂

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I also used the remaining Desiccated Coconut and Gula Melaka to make Kueh Dar Dar. Perfect for tea time with your ondeh ondeh and really, I hate having leftover ingredients that I will ultimately forget about which is a waste. Enjoyed this with some Sri Lankan tea thanks to Andrew Chua‘s Sri Lankan Trip earlier this year.

WFF#1: Ju Shin Jung, Brawn & Brains, East Coast Park Cycling

Yes, I just came up with a new abbreviation WFF – which stands for Weekend Food & Fun! I’ve always been a central dweller who seldom venture to the east nor the west, mainly due to the fact that I can’t drive (yet). So last weekend, we decided to head off for a mini adventure to the east.

Credits to Andrew Chua

1st Stop – Ju Shin Jung 

This outlet at Guillemard Road is very much similar to the one at West Coast, and great for family – ball pit for kids, Korean bing su dessert shop right next to it for after meals 🙂 JSJ is slightly pricey compared to Seoul Yummy or other Korean restaurants but its very much worth it for the wide spread of good quality, authentic Kimchi and Side Dishes, attentive service and spacious restaurant. Opted for BBQ Pork Jowl, Herb Marinated Pork Belly and Seafood Tofu Soup. The Pork Jowl was a little tough so if you want a tender smokey BBQ Pork, go for Pork Belly. Its somewhat sinful but you’re already there! Cheat meal.

Ju Shin Jung

One thing to take note of is the external metal casing supporting the BBQ pit underneath the table. PLEASE do not sit too close to it… #Truestory. I had a pretty bad burn from it.

2nd Stop – Brawn & Brains 

Flat White at Brawns & Brains

Hidden Cafe right around the corner of JSJ to satisfy my craving for a good cup of coffee! A little more of my comments of this cafe here.

A ride from ECP to MBS and back 

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Let's gooooo 🚴🏻 #cycling #Ecp #octopus #gopro

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Perfect exercise for those bums and thighs accompanied by gorgeous view from sunset to starry sky. We got tips from the east dwellers to rent our bikes from 12Cycle located at Marine Parade Central, right before you take the underpass to head to ECP. You pay a fraction lesser for better bikes! I think it was $8 for 3 hours for liking their Facebook Page. Just enough time for us to head from midway ECP to Marina Barrage, Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands and back to ECP, with a couple of good stops for photographs, a great way to relieve your daily work stress and enjoy a quieter, more peaceful side of this urban jungle we are living in.

Struggles of the new age

Do you feel like you want to do something but you just can’t seem to figure out what you want to do? I have that feeling all the time…my hands itch at the thought of being stagnant, and I get this feeling hitting me straight in my face whenever things get too boring, aimless or comfortable.

Maybe its a disease of the new generation.

Either way, I am obviously in that state now else I wouldn’t be sharing it.It doesn’t mean my life or work isn’t exciting, but I want a more holistic experience. And I notice that are a few small little baby steps to make myself feel “better” (or rather, less frustrated at my inability to stay still).

Just do something!

We wake up, go to work, come home, go to sleep. Repeat. It is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and get into a robotic mode. I try to have something exciting to look forward to every week (as much as I can) – be it meeting friends, trying a new drink at the bar, catching a movie, or better still, if I get to learn something new like fishing or archery – it goes a long way. Its a fine balance between being in the comfort zone and being out of it. In it, you get bored, outside of it, you get stressed and uncomfortable but discover something new about yourself.

Find out the source of any bugging feeling and face it 

For instance, we have been brought up to find a job we like, only then will you find happiness. But does it mean that you quit if you hate it? Probably not. Sometimes all you need to do is identify the reason, and a simple change of setting some boundaries between work and personal life will help. Have goals for yourself outside of work! For me, my goal this year is get my diving and driving license.

I am still trying to figure out new ways to deal with this strange bugging feeling, and at the same time looking for opportunities to venture into new terrains.

Ma Maison Japanese Western

Hidden at the most inaccessible part of Central @ Clarke Quay (which in itself already known for its weird floor plan and configuration), a homely & cosy little French/British-look-alike restaurant with Japanese Menu.

I was never a fan of Ma Maison till I decided to try Tonkatsu by Ma Maison @ Mandarin Gallery and fell deeply in love with it! It is a must-try I recommend to most of my friends, because its on par with my #1 favourite Tonkatsu in Kyoto – Katsukura.

So Ma Maison Japanese Western Food has been around for a good 4 to 5 years, and I think it warrant a try, although I am not a big fan of fusion food.

Ma Maison Japanese Western IMG_2693Ma Maison Japanese WesternMa Maison Japanese Western

The number one plus point is definitely the cosy, homely wood furnishing, feels like you are having a meal in someone’s home 🙂 Although you don’t really see much consistency in their fusion-inspired decorations, a bit of British, a bit of French, a bit of Japanese, a bit of American. But it somewhere to go to relax, and chat over tea/coffee or Ma Maison Wine! (Yes, they have their own wine which I am trying for sure on my next visit)

And of course, the food came and I was sold. Another Go-To on my list 🙂

Ma Maison Japanese Westernj

French Onion Soup – Taste very Japanese actually, but managed to keep the original French flavours. Love the baked cheese (who doesn’t), but a little too salty as a whole.

Ma Maison Japanese Western

Mentaiko Seafood Spaghetti – I love all things Mentaiko but the thing that caught me of guard is the smokey taste infused. Try it for yourself & you will know what I mean.

Ma Maison Japanese Western

Finished off with their popular Strawberry Tart. The crew at this outlet are really polite and attentive. Our water glasses are never empty, no dirty dishes laying around, and when we asked for the dessert menu, she brought the entire selection of tarts to our table for us to choose from.

I am pretty sure I will come back again. It’s hard not to when the window seats overlooks the river, as the sunset, you catch a glimpse of bustling Clarke Quay, and great food! Ladies night – 20% off ala carte menu on Tuesdays!

Song Kee Fishball Noodle 松记鱼丸面

Personal Rating 
Taste: 2/5
Value: 2/5
Servie: 1/5
Ambience: 1/5

 I think I can safely say I’m not the only one who thinks it was a terrible experience, my family and the family who queued in front of me couldn’t stop raging about it. 

Song Kee Fishball Noodle 松记鱼丸面Song Kee Fishball Noodle 松记鱼丸面

Randomly suggested trying Song Kee Fishball Noodle 松记鱼丸面 because a few of my friends/colleagues mentioned that its quite famous. We reached at 640pm, realised its not opened yet and I googled to find food-lover ieatandeat.com advising on the opening time “Elastic time, may start anytime from 6.45pm to 7.30pm and end at 3am to 5pm”. 

Maybe they should learn to fix a non-elastic opening time and be more punctual cause they definitely kept a lot of customers waiting outside. I think this is what Singaporeans call “Dua Pai”… 

Gates opened at 715pm and because its my first time, I went in to look for a seat first instead of scurrying to queue (again) to order. So I waited for another 10 minutes before I placed my order. 

And we sat…with hungry stomachs for another 25 minutes before our noodles were served. 

Our orders: Mee Pok Dry (Small) – $4, Mee Boon + Mian Soup – $4, Mixed Soup – $6

Mee Pok Dry (Small) Mixed Soup

What’s Good

The fishball made with mushrooms and chives mixed in and the noodles texture were fine.

What’s Bad

The noodles were terribly salty! For someone who loves flavourful food, this is beyond my personal limit. The saltiness comes from adding too much chilli in the sauce mixture. Fishball were very tasteless, although I must say the texture saved it from disgrace (since its a fishball noodle stall). 

I read on ieatandeat about how nice the fish dumpling or 鱼饺 is, which I’m sure it must have been pretty nice, but the one I got didn’t have fish paste in it at all. It was more of a mushroom mixture and the skin was too thick. If you like chewy fish dumping, the chewiness is acceptable but too thick for my liking. 

DO NOT bother with the tau pok, it tasted like it was boiled in plain hot water. I mean, who doesn’t like tau pok right? Try it and you will not disagree with me. The soup was bad too, which I think affected the taste of the fishball and tau pok. It does not have the porky taste, not even a peppery taste. I thought the sight of some pork lard will help it (although I don’t like pork lard), but nope. 

Tips

I will give it the benefit of doubt that it just opened so the soup is still tasteless. So if you still want to give a try, here are some tips

  1. Go early – about 630pm so you get to be the first few in line 
  2. Head for the queue to place your order (while your friend/family head for the table) 
  3. Or at least make sure you don’t go there hungry 
  4. Do not mix in all the chilli at the start! Mix in a little and try it first. If you like saltier flavours then mix it a second time. 
  5. Order a milo-gao-ice to help with hunger or wait. The guy makes good milo. 

Or maybe, someone can go for supper much later in the night when the soup is better (boiled for a longer time with many rounds of cooking of meat and ingredients) and let me know if its good. 

If you agree with me, let me know and I will recommend a better Bak Chor Mee a few streets away that has equally good chilli, noodles, better soup, cheaper, with shorter queue 🙂

Address: 532 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore, Singapore 534547

Opens at: 7pm – 715pm (approximate)

Nearest MRT: Serangoon, Exit A, walk straight down following the direction of traffic

What’s nearby: Wimbly Lu @ Jalan Riang

 

22 Days of Sydney

Sitting on my bed at 1AM, counting the number of days I have left in Sydney on my calendar – Twenty Two. I’ve missed everyone in Singapore for the past 2.5 months and it will go on for the next 22 days 🙂 

I’ve changed as a person, but some things don’t change easily. I would say this trip made me grow deeper yet again (gosh…I can imagine going back to a bunch of jokers who cannot stop saying I have an old soul). 

Every trip I take and every new city I stay in makes me a stronger person. But I think the downside of that is I tend to become colder as well…It’s a fine balance. Always reminding myself that being strong does not equate to being cold towards situations and people. 

Nonetheless, life has been pretty ok, loads of great food. I shall stuff my face for the next 22 days and worry about dieting later :p 

Have a great weekend! 

Galloping in Sydney

Spent my 2nd Chinese New Year abroad, and this year its in Sydney! The thing about Sydney (especially the city) is that there’s tons of Asians – from Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian, Singaporean, Taiwanese etc. All of which celebrates Chinese New Year!

Despite missing out on CNY goodies and gatherings with friends and family, I managed to get a hint of the festive spirit with CNY Eve dinner at Golden Century Restaurant recommended by a friend who works & stays in Sydney. It’s a clear popular choice cause we made reservations for 9pm and only got in at 945pm!

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Got my Yu Sheng fix and Char Siew at Golden Century although the Yu Sheng is vastly different from the ones in Singapore and Malaysia. The focus here is more on the Sashimi instead of carrots and radish.

There isn’t any Public Holiday in Sydney for CNY so we had to go to work nonetheless on 初一 and to reward ourselves for that, we had Si Chuan Steamboat for dinner. The only way to feel cheena here is to keep going for Chinese food :p But it was fun cause we kinda chat up with the Chinese waiter, you know, share the cheena love (:

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Extremely spicy and tasty soup with loads of my favourite dishes like fish, mushrooms, fried beancurd skin, lamp slices and wanton (: Aldrich & I are like 2 retarded kids all excited and dressed up for 初一… just missing the part where we go visiting and collect Ang Baos…

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初二 was Dim Sum day for us after our weekly basketball sessions with a bunch of Taiwanese/hongkongers who works here (: The australians call it Yumcha instead of Dimsum. Had pretty authentic (Hong Kong) Dim Sum on pushcarts at Market City! The restaurant was bustling with canto-conversations!

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Cooked my first meal in Sydney on Saturday night! Bak Kut Teh for dinner 🙂 Maybe cooking-bak-kut-teh-talents flows in my blood since most of my relatives are in that business.

I spent my Sunday fruitfully with Aldrich before the first working day of the galloping year today! The best part about Sundays is the fact that we can wake up at 1130am, wash up and just stroll to Glebe for brunch. Glebe is just filled with brunch spots in the day and pubs & restaurants at night! Best way to soak up the aussiness (: Its our to-do list now to strike off the different brunch places at Glebe every Sunday since its just a stone throw away.

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yupp…we will grow fat. #Diettomorrow!

Another great truly local thing to do in Sydney or Australia is to just hang out at the beach. Any beach! Grab your shades, bikinis and sunscreens and vrroooom off to some nearby beach. As recommended, we drove down to Bundock Park (Clovelly Beach), about 20 minutes away.

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It was a beautiful natural-outdoor-pool because of the clear blue lagoon surrounded by rocks and cliffs. The sky is almost always cloudless in Sydney so sunbathing, bikini girls and bubbly jumpy dogs are accessories to these beautiful beaches (:

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There were streets of cafes, restaurants and surf shops near the beach that’s great for a cup of coffee and beachwear shopping (: I always associated beer with beaches but unfortunately in Sydney you’re not allowed to have any alcohol on the streets and at the beaches.

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And to end the peaceful relaxing day, we found a random restaurant, with the perfect spot for CNY Fireworks viewing at Darling Harbour! We were pretty lucky cause we reached just in time (without knowing what time exactly) and found the perfect spot by the harbour,along with Lemon Lime Tart and Moscato. Although CNY doesn’t warrant a Public Holiday here, its still a big event with hours of parading in the city and 15 minutes fabulous fireworks to welcome the Horse year.

I’ve only been here for 3 weeks and it felt like 3 months~ Absolutely missing my family & friends back home. I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the well deserved CNY break! I will always be thinking of you guys during my time here although I can’t be Skyping often due to the time difference (: Stay healthy and happy! And to my dear colleagues, hang in there, March will be here soon

Something I learnt here is never to let failures burst your bubble. Try your best to get the momentum and motivation back in any way possible~ Easier said then done but that’s life. Not everything is well path and planned out for you. When you need to find your own directions, getting lost is part and parcel of knowing which route to not take the next time round.

Love you all,

Joan

Building Lean Startups – 2 Day Bootcamp

Attended a 2 day bootcamp at The Hive, Pollenizer with various entrepreneurs and winners from Coca Cola Hackathon. It was good to see Sam as the coach, who was also a mentor at the SingTel L!fesparks Hackathon last November. 

The Lean Startup Bootcamp is a training course for entrepreneurs on lean startup theory and hands-on exercises on the practical tools in ideation, manual testing and most importantly, pitching. It was a great experience for me as it was highly engaging! There were never-ending hands-on exercises to make sure you know how to apply the concepts, interacting with different people and sharing openly about your ideas. 

One thing I learnt is never to be afraid to share your ideas. The more you share, the more you learn and understand. It is absolutely fine to look stupid when you’re sharing your idea, focus on listening to what others have to say and share with you. Ultimately, if you nail your idea, no one is gonna think you look stupid anymore 😉 

It is also a great exercise to pitch someone else’s idea! It strips away your emotionally attachment and defensiveness for the idea. Giving it a fresh set of perspective and just giving yourself a chance to brush up on your confidence level of speaking in front of others! 

There were just too many learnings for me the past 2 days to list out now. Shall continue again… (: