Saturday, November 24, 2007

Recent eats

I just loved the oyster omelet at Satsuma - it was filled with different types of mushrooms and large plump oysters, and had a sweetish soy based sauce. Eps and I devoured the grilled chicken hearts and the cartilage. Yum. And like its sister restaurant Shunjuu (at Robertson Quay), Satsuma provides a platter of vegetables (daikon, carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers) and their absolutely amazing dip. But I was a bit disappointed with the mentai (spicy cod roe) spaghetti, as it tasted more like spaghetti cooked with garlic than anything else. The evening however was marred by a rather rambunctious group sitting at the enclosed table in the middle of the circular dining area - the one guy among the group of women had this horrendous hyena laugh and as the night went on, they obviously got drunker and seemed to laugh at nearly everything.

A recent shopping trip at Vivocity (which once again saw me leaving empty-handed) ended with lunch at Corduroy Cafe. I adore breakfast food but this was just too much.
Eggs and Pancakes at Corduroy Cafe Vivocity
This was their version of eggs, pancakes and hash. Teeny tiny pancakes with the honey already poured over (and not provided in a jug to do the pouring yourself), two sunny side up eggs (can't go wrong there) and a hash brown. It made me want to go back to Cedele at Wheelock for their macademia pancakes. Corduroy Cafe however, does a very nice mocha. And I have been in want of a good mocha (thick and rich) since the really bad one at the Coffee Club Xpress at work the other day (watery, thin, too sweet).

Bratwurst Pot at Corduroy Cafe Vivocity
My mum's Bratwurst Pot fared better, but the sauerkraut was too sour, even for her.

And from the lovely Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros, I made her Apple Bread with Sugar and Cinnamon Topping. It's not a pretty sort of cake so it doesn't make for a good picture (lots of brown you see) but it comes out moist and absolutely delicious, and best of all, not too sweet.

150g sugar
150g butter, softened
2 eggs
120g plain flour (Bake King flour!)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder (I just used bicarbonate)
1/2 tsp cardamom (I didn't have this so I left it out)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
400g apples, peeled, cored and coarsely grated (I used 3 smallish green apples, and instead of grating all the apples, I chopped some of them so that the cake would have pieces of apple throughout)
60g walnuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped (I didn't bother toasting them and they still taste fine)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping: 60g walnuts, finely chopped
60g brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180degC. Line a loaf tin (30x11 cm) with greaseproof paper.
Beat together sugar and butter till fluffy. Add eggs and beat them in. Sift flour, bicarb, cinnamon and cardamom (if using) and add a pinch of salt. Mix well. Add apples, walnuts, vanilla and mix well. Pour into tin.

Mix together the topping ingredients and scatter over the top of the batter. Bake for about 45 minutes.

Let cool and serve slighly warm or at room temperature. Great with a cup of hot Earl Grey tea or with a glass of cold milk.

1 Nanson Road
01-10/02-10 The Gallery Hotel
Tel: 6235-3565

Corduroy Cafe
Tel: 6376-9895

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