Saturday, October 23, 2010

PS. Cafe On Ann Siang Hill

On 19th October, I chanced upon the new PS. Cafe on Ann Siang Hill Park (ASH Park for short) on its first day of operation. I completely forgot about the invitation I received to its pre-opening dining experience. Would have been nice to have visited it earlier. Anyway, I was really impressed with its interior design, which is in similar theme to the branch at Palais Renaissance.

Entrance to PS. Cafe
I prefer to enter via Club Street, by walking up the flight of stairs not far from Scarlet Hotel.

The bar on the ground level
Old school black leather padded bar, dark wood rims, with glass shelves filled with bottles of alcohol delights.

Dining hall on the second level
There's a certain posh factor to the ambience, with attention paid to the details. When you are dining there, do look up and check out the white ceiling made with metal plates embossed with floral motifs. Amazing. They also built frames for the air-conditioning units.

I love the table setting. Simple, clean but stylish.

Yummy cakes on display in majestic cake stands. Sweet temptations!

PS. Cesar with rosemary Dijon chicken
My friends ordered this dish and didn't really touch the chicken as it was not yummy. Usually the case for a newly opened resto.

The original Laksa leaf pesto
This is one of my favourite pasta with a local twist... long bean sambal, coriander leaf and chilli! Pretty good, except the fact they added shrimps instead of more fish cakes. I guess they ran out of fish cakes and had to substitute it with prawns. Disappointed that they did not follow the original recipe. Since it was the first day of operation, I will not hold it against them. :)

Truffle shoestring fries
Excellent and consistent! A must-have. A word of advice, share it with your friends as the serving is huge.

This PS. Cafe also serves grill. Meat eaters rejoice!

Will I visit it again? Yes! Maybe after 2 weeks. Always good to give new restaurants some time to sort out teething issues. The bar on level three looks promising. Do check out the rooftop area, which is currently serving as a smokers' area.

Official Site:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Dog Whisperer

I recently welcomed a new Shetland Sheepdog puppy named Butter into the household. I have had three dogs prior to Butter but that was about ten years ago. With the new puppy, I wanted to have the right information on how to train and raise an obedient dog, one that is balanced and happy. Many dog owners came forward with helpful information, and one owner mentioned the name Cesar Millan.

After some quick search on google, I found out that he is the guy people called "The Dog Whisperer", from a popular series on National Geographic channel. It became my crash course into dog psychology and training. I am really thankful for the knowledge I have gained watching the series, as I had many misconceptions in the past about dog training and behaviour.

Cesar exercising his pack of dogs

If you are planning to buy a new puppy or have just acquired one, I would recommend Cesar's book 'How to raise the perfect dog - through puppyhood and beyond'. It contains useful info on how to select a puppy, how to introduce the puppy to its new home, how to communicate with it, etc. His formula is simple: exercise, limitations (discipline), and then affection. Puppyhood is the most crucial period to set the foundation right, so as to avoid behavioral problems in future.

Most of the time, we humans created the problems as we see dogs as humans. It is not fair to expect your dog to think and behave like humans. The dogs in their natural habitats will usually have a pack leader who will look after them and keep them safe, but will not hesitate to correct disrepectful behaviours. You may provide food, shelter and affection for your dog, and what you get in return from your furkids is trust. Respect is another thing and it must be earned. For your furkids to respect you, you need to be perceived by them as calm and assertive, and being a good pack leader. To learn more about how to be a pack leader, I am watching 'The Dog Whisperer', as well as reading Cesar's books.

What I have learnt is that dogs like structures. They need their daily walks (even if you live in a house with a huge garden, you still need to walk your dog), you must set boundaries for them (if not the dog will think it is the boss of the household) to follow, and only to shower them with affection when they are in the right state of mind (calm and submissive state and NOT aggressive). You might say it's easy for me now as I have a puppy and it's easy to train them from young. However, you can teach old dogs new tricks. Dogs move on fast and don't hold on to the past. As long as you start teaching, they start learning good behaviour and unlearn bad habits.

There are 2 camps out there: love Cesar or hate Cesar. You can be the judge after you watch his shows. I have not seen him being cruel or violent to any of the dogs. Instead, he uses a simple method to teach the dogs to respect boundaries and be calm-submissive. At the rate I am learning, I think I will be ready to adopt a dog when I get another dog in a few years' time as Butter's companion. In the meantime, I have also bought another of Cesar's books titled Cesar's Way.

I leave you now with some pics of Butter, my new puppy. She is from Australia and is a real smart dog. Why the name Butter? Well, we love butter and all the food we love are made with butter... croissant, pastries, desserts. Lol.

A calm submissive state of mind makes a happy dog. Affection should be given only when dogs are in this state. Never reward a dog with treats or affection when it is excited, aggressive or misbehaving.

Exercise is a daily ritual. It is what makes a dog healthy and happy.

Exercise dispenses the energy of the dog to prevent unwanted behavioral problems at home. Butter is too tired from her exercises to be up to much mischief. When she is restless, I take her out for a walk to work it off.

Tipping the ears of shelties and collies is a common practice. My secret trick is to use double eyelid glue to stick the ears down. It is non toxic and won't hurt the doggies.

We made the mistake of letting Butter roam the entire apartment on the first day. However, we quickly corrected it by setting up boundaries, by using a baby gate to confine her to her room (which is like a huge crate to her). She is not allowed to roam the apartment without supervision for now.

We were bombarded with too many options when we were choosing a bed for Butter. We got lucky and chose one that she really loves. This bed is soft and has a wall to keep her from falling off. It is like she is sleeping in a cocoon.

Official Site:

Monday, October 18, 2010

'Simply Black' Saturdays

Firstly, I do apologise for the lack of blog entries lately. I have been busy with training my new Shetland Sheepdog puppy. However, I managed to find time last Saturday to check out the new 'Simply Black on Saturdays' at Les Amis. The first of its kind in Asia, Les Amis launched this blind tasting wine luncheon on 2nd October 2010. It will be a weekly affair with the menus and wines changing each time.

Why is it called Simply Black? Well, black is the standard colour for stemware being used for blind tasting purposes. In this way, you let your palette do the tasting without distraction from the sight. Les Amis upped the notch by using top-of-the-line Zwiesel 1872 crystal stemware. Zwiesel 1872 is the handmade range from Zwiesel Kristallglas, a German crystal stemware with over 130 years of history.

With 'Simply Black', there is now another good reason to dine at Les Amis. At $120++ for a 4-course set lunch paired with 4 glasses of wines, your bank account will definitely be in the black and not in the red. Every week, Les Amis Group's sommeliers will pick the wines according to the theme, which can range from grape varietals to vinous regions. After which Chef de Cuisine Armin Leitgeb will design a menu to pair with the wines. That means you can go there every Saturday and won't get bored with the food and wines.

For the lunch last Saturday, the theme was Spanish wines. I am so used to drinking the popular varietals such as Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, that the wines I tasted at Simply Black lunch was like a whole new world to me. I learnt about Godello, Propiedad, Crianza and Pedro Ximenez.

Amuse Bouche - Vietnamese Clam
On the left with ebiko and micro herbs, on the right with olive oil emulsion.

I love the sweetness of the clam. Simple and a good welcome change from the usual ham amuse bouche that I get at Les Amis.

First Course - Obsiblue Prawn "Mi Cuit"
Served with marinated saffron fennel, tomatoes and agrumes

"Mi cuit" means half cooked. For any seafood to be done this way, the ingredients must be really fresh to begin with. I could really taste the sweetness of the prawn. As for obsiblue prawn, it is an indigenous species of New Caledonia in the southwest Pacific. The obsiblue prawn has a blue shell with pale gray flesh.

Second Course - Roasted US Squab
Served with forest mushroom ragout and spring onions

Third Course - Char Grilled "Calotte de Boeuf"
Served with spinach, sweet corn and truffled mash potatoes

The beef was so tender and delicious. I can definitely eat a second serving of this dish. The mash potatoes were given a touch of luxe with black truffles.

Dessert - Chocolate, Figs and Portwine

Not the prettiest sight but it sure tasted yummy.

Of the wines I had, I really liked wine #2, which was Propiedad 2003 by Palacios Remondo. #1 Louro do Bolo Godello is alright but I prefer a sweeter and more floral type of white wine. #3 Pedrosa Crianza is also not too bad. However, I think my lack of familiarity with the taste somewhat didn't make this my favourite. As must as I like dessert wines, #4 El Candado Pedro Ximenez is way too sweet for my palette and liking.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Close Encounter With Jenaer Glas

A few days ago, I attended a really interesting cooking class organised by Jenaer Glas (part of the Zwiesel Kristallglas Group who also owns Zwiesel 1872 and Schott Zwiesel). Jenaer Glas invited one of its brand ambassadors, Chef Chris Salans from the famous Mozaic restaurant in Bali, to do a cooking demo to a small group of media guests at the Miele showroom. As the PR consultant for Zwiesel Kristallglas, I got to sit in for the demo and lunch.

Born in Washington D.C. to a French mother and an American father, Salans moved to Paris, France, at the age of two. Living in a French family, he was brought up eating his mother’s French home cooking and drinking wine. He joined the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, interned at L’Oustau de Baumaniere, a 3-Michelin-star restaurant (at the time) in Les Baux de Provence, France, and worked at Lucas Carton, France, another 3-Michelin-star restaurant. He then furthered his career in in New York city, working for David Bouley. However, his awe for Asian cuisine led him to Bali, where he worked as the executive chef at The Legian. Married to an Indonesian, he decided to live in Bali and opened Mozaic. where he developed techniques to bring the amazing flavors of Indonesian cuisine to Westerners’ palates. His signature style is to incorporate the flavors of Indonesian cuisines, using the techniques of modern cooking and presentation.

The famous egg coddler is the work of designer Wilhelm Wagenfeld. Available in 3 sizes, it is not just for preparing eggs, and can be used to serve starters and desserts, or anything that your creativity fancies.

I love this 'hot n cold' range. The double walls create a thermal effect, and help keep hot items stay hot longer, and cool foods stay fresh longer. It also means that you can serve scorching hot drinks and your hands won't get burnt holding the glasses.

Since 1918, JENAER GLAS has been synonymous with modern design, high quality and functionality. This internationally renowned brand from Zwiesel Kristallglas is famed for its range of temperature-resistant borosilicate glass products that are designed to enhance the joy of cooking. The special glass can withstand extreme temperatures: heat (up to 450 °C) or cold (up to –35 °C).

Here are some pics from the event. Chef Salans did a cooking demo of simple recipes and showed us how we can add the "boomz" using Jenaer Glas products. The fact that the products can withstand extreme changes in temperature means that they can go straight from the fridge to the oven, and they are also beautiful enough to be used for serving.

1st Dish - Gratineed Oysters

I love the way the oysters were presented in the bowl, filled with a shallow layer of sugar and some herbs. You can also use sea salt as the base. This recipe can be reproduced at home using an oven (with compromised results), since most people will not have a salamander at home. Alternatively, you can purchase a blow torch.

Chef Salans putting the oysters topped with sabayon under the salamander.

2nd Dish - Asian Seafood Consomme Bumbu Kuning

Perhaps inspired by the Japanese Dobin Mushi, this consomme wins hands down when it comes to presentation. You could see the vibrant colours of the ingredients in the clear teapot. You can also purchase the food warmer (to be used with a tea light) to keep the content warm for a longer period of time.

This is an excellent way to serve soup and I bet most guests will be impressed. The tea pot can then be used to top up the soup for guests.

3rd Dish - Steamed Foie Gras Custard and Crispy Duck Salad

A more decadent version of Chawanmushi. The bottom layer consisted of egg white custard and the top layer was a foie gras and egg yolk custard. Chef Salans then topped it with a duck confit salad.

4th Dish - Red Berry Tiramisu

Love this fruity version of the traditional Italian dessert. I was so inspired I went home and made this for dinner. Love how easy it is to bake almond crisps to be used as garnish. Just mix almond flakes, sugar, egg whites and a little water together... and chuck it in the oven to bake for a minimum of 20 minutes. Tasty treats that you can keep at home.

5th Dish - Valrhona Chocolate Moelleux, Almond Mascarpone and Almond Crisps

This is a really rich dessert so keep the serving portion small. Love the fact that you can bake and serve in the same glassware.

I was so inspired by the demo and presentation that I can't wait to pop by the Zwiesel 1872 boutique on Club Street to stock up on Jenaer Glas products. I also know where my next holiday destination will be... it will be Ubud, Bali! I will be visiting Chef Salans and dine at the famous Mozaic restaurant. That's my version of Eat, Pray, Love.

Official Sites:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Liberty of Manolo Blahnik

Are you ready for some limited edition Manolos? I'm a little late in posting this entry (the range launched on 8 September, but better late than never). Bet this would make Carrie Bradshaw cross the continent just to get some at Liberty. This is a different kind of collaboration as compared to H&M and luxury brands. The World of Manolo has come to Liberty, but the price tags remain.

For the first time, Blahnik’s legendary shoes will be available outside of his own shop at a glorious store-in-store. Bascially, Blahnik has scoured through the Liberty Print archives to create this lust-worthy collection. Liberty created a spectacular store-in-store to enhance the shopping experience. The limited edition shoes will be in residence for a three and a half month period. Shoes are only available to buy at the store on Regent Street. There are also candles, brollies and printed accessories.

Here's my lust list... if you are in London, do stop by and check it out.

Love the curves of this shoe.

Tweed and sexy

It's raining shoes!

Green with envy.

I can wear all the shoes at once!

Perfect for the shoe closet.

Shoes for thoughts. Love these shoe-print note books, and I know I am not alone.

This will make a chic grocery bag when I go to the supermarket.

Too exquisite to resist.

This is simply perfect!

Official Site :