Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Beerfest Asia 2009: Beer Samplers

The good people behind Beerfest Asia send me some samples and I've enlisted my fellow beer fiend Raymond to down em cold ones.

Its only right that we start with the lightest tasting one. San Miguel Super Dry from the Philippines. We both downed this in no time. Verdict: Where's the flavour? Was that beer?

Then its Flying Dog's Old Scratch Amber Lager from US. Verdict: The best brew for the night. Malty with pleasant bitterness and nice toasted malt aftertaste. Will buy this from the stores.

Next off, Negra Modelo from Mexico. Verdict: Overly sweet and not very enjoyable. I was expecting nice malty vienna styled dark beer "think Paulaner Munich Dark" but got something that neither here nor there.

Then its good old Belgium standard Leffe Blonde. Verdict: Fruity, spicy and alcoholic.

Ended it with Oakleaf's Heart of Oak from England. Verdict: Pours murky and flat with zero head. Mouthfeel was watery light not unlike Kilkennys. Tastewise was not that bad with a dry finish and light roasted taste.

Many thanks to Beerfest Asia for the *hics*.

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Beerfest Asia 2009

Beerfest Asia is here in town this week from Wednesday till Sunday @ The Singapore Flyer! Great timing that coincides with Labour day holidays. Good chance to catch up and down a few good quality cold ones, hopefully fresh, with the buds. Website here.

I'm looking forward to taste beers from Flying Dogs, Rogue and Stone Brewing Company, incidentally all from US hmmmm...

From the website:

Tickets are available from BYTES TICKETING now. Visit www.bytes.sg or call hotline 63326919. 15% discount for Citi Clear Platinum credit cardmembers and 10% discount for other Citibank credit cardmembers for Early Bird and At-the-door tickets. Early Bird extended to 3pm, 29 April 2009. Hurry!"

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ciabatta, take two...

I wasn't convinced that I got the ciabatta recipe and method right, so gotta try it again to make sure that it was no fluke.

Same old recipe and method here, no changes and I got a nice loaf of ciabatta with a thin crispy crust and soft chewy crumb with plenty of holes to pick em dipping sauces. This will be the house specialty for now! Yippeedeedooo!


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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Yoshimaru Ramen

oh yes! I was ecstatic when I found out that there is a new proper ramen joint in the West side of Singapore! ya lah like Singapore is damn big like that.... but its a big deal when the ramen withdrawal symptoms gets bad and there are only Ajisen-Ajisen-Ajisen-Ajisen-AND-fricken-Ajisen, Ramen Ramen and Menichi... I'd rather pop open a pack of expensive Sanyo Ramen Hakata Tonkotsu, at least the soup taste right!

Yoshimaru Ramen(Managed by Jumbo Seafood in Singapore) originated from Hakata, Kyushu is now available right in the smack of parking hell... Holland Village. Found out that Hakata style ramen are typically very thin ramen almost like them wanton noodles and not the curly ones I had from Sanyo! Oh well learn something new each day.

Read more here....

I had but of course the Hakata Ramen. It was pretty all right. The noodles were firm and chewy, pretty much like a thinner version of Ajisen's ramen(The only saving grace of Ajisen IMHO) and the soup is rich from all the collagen extracted from pork bones. The ni tamago(seasoned egg) was delicious and charsu pretty all right. Its of the pork belly kind. However, yes... however, being a big fan of Santouka's tonkotsu broth, I must say that Yoshimaru's tonkotsu is a bit one dimensional. Santouka's tonkotsu has many layers of flavour the keeps my taste buds in hyperdrive. Oh and I personally feel that Yoshimaru's level of saltiness is tweaked for the local taste buds aka... not salty enough! :P

That said, I'd love to pop by every now and then into the depths of parking hell called Holland Village and have a pipping hot bowl of ramen at Yoshimaru.

They're now having a preopening discount of 25% before service charge and GST, so bargain hunters... go get em!

Yoshimaru Ramen Bar
31 Lorong Liput Holland Village
Singapore 277742
Tel: 64633132
Fax: 64664522


Opening hours:
Weekdays and Sunday: 1100 - 2300
Friday, Saturday and eve of public holidays: 1100 - 0100

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sanyo Ramen: Hakata Tonkotsu

Oh hai... got this from Meidiya... 5 packs of ramen for fricken $8.65. Better be worth it!


So its Hakata Tonkotsu style yeah.... instant Tonkotsu? hmmmm....

The packaging looks very convincing...

Ok lah not too bad! Meat balls and sesame seed sold separately! :P

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hakutsuru Draught Sake

Sake! Oh the lovely delicate aroma, soft and luscious. I'm beginning to appreciate sake more these days as I'm predominantly a beer brewer/drinker. Bad for my wallet but oh hell why not. Life's little pleasures!

Hakutsuru draught sake, which is what they'll call table sake to what table wine is to the wine world. I'm a noob in both departments so I'm learning and groping along the way.

This is relatively an easy drinker, pleasant and just goes down like water. I do not have any good vocabulary in describing sake now but it seems like what it is easy to drink like store bought draught beer.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ciabatta , great success!

Very happy with the ciabatta this time.

I've been playing around with Benoit Hogue's Ciabatta recipe @ Allrecipes.com for a while and baked a loaf that I'm pretty much pleased with. Love the holey crumb, great for picking up olive oil and balsamic vinegar!

I changed the process a little bit using the no knead method but did not change the ingredients at all.

Ciabatta(Benoit Hogue@All Recipes) (My notes in italics.)
* 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
* 2 tablespoons warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
* 1/3 cup warm water
* 1 cup bread flour

Bread dough
* 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
* 2 tablespoons warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
* 2/3 cup warm water
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 2 cups bread flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons salt


1. To Make Sponge: In a small bowl stir together 1/8 teaspoon of the yeast and the warm water and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In a bowl stir together yeast mixture, 1/3 cup of the water, and 1cup of the bread flour. Stir 4 minutes, then over bowl with plastic wrap. Let sponge stand at cool room temperature for at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.
(I used a plastic container with a lid for this and let it ferment in the kitchen at room temperature for up to 24 hours. The sponge smells sour, so its OK, don't bin it!)

2. To Make Bread: In a small bowl stir together yeast and milk and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with dough hook blend together milk mixture, sponge, water, oil, and flour at low speed until flour is just moistened; add salt and mix until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Scrape dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
(I added in the water and the milk into the sponge and stir up the sponge, followed by everything else. Stirred it up a bit till it is well mixed. The consistency is pretty sticky than other bread doughs.)

3. Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. (Dough will be sticky and full of air bubbles.)
(Left it in the plastic container to rise for around 2-4 hours. I didn't time myself. After that I just dump the container into the fridge and shape the dough the next day.)

Turn dough out onto a well-floured work surface and cut in half. Transfer each half to a parchment sheet and form into an irregular oval about 9 inches long. Dimple loaves with floured fingers and dust tops with flour. Cover loaves with a dampened kitchen towel. Let loaves rise at room temperature until almost doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
(I prepared a sheet of parchment paper and spread evenly around 1 teaspoon of olive oil onto the surface. Poured the dough on the parchment paper and flatten it a bit to almost rectangular but try not to squeeze out all the air. I used the oiled parchment paper as an aid to fold the dough like a letter. Lift the top portion of the paper and fold in the dough 1/3 and followed by the bottom 1/3. The olive oil and parchment paper makes it so easy! I tried folding wet doughs with "very well floured kitchen" and it was a bloody mess! Let the loaf rise till double the bulk.)

4. At least 45 minutes before baking ciabatta, put a baking stone on oven rack in lowest position in oven and preheat oven to 425 F (220 degrees C).
(I preheat the oven with the baking tray in the middle and another smaller stainless steel tray on the base for steam)

5. Transfer 1 loaf on its parchment to a rimless baking sheet with a long side of loaf parallel to far edge of baking sheet. Line up far edge of baking sheet with far edge of stone or tiles, and tilt baking sheet to slide loaf with parchment onto back half of stone or tiles. Transfer remaining loaf to front half of stone in a similar manner. Bake ciabatta loaves 20 minutes, or until pale golden. Cool loaves on a wire rack.
(I used a thin IKEA plastic cutting board to scoop the loaf and then slide it onto the HOT baking tray. Careful not to touch the plastic to any hot surface! Poured a cup of water into the bottom tray and let it sizzle.)

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