..............................Persis is married!..............................

Wednesday, April 15, 2009



Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Recipe: Steamed Sea Bass

I'm still unpacking my London boxes and building bookshelves. In getting married, The Boy and I have also instituted the union of our substantial libraries. So to Ikea it was, with a good friend and his truck. These are fantastic.

Am also in the process of rebuilding my chinese kitchen in Houston, TX. Thanks to a Korean colleague of The Boy's, we discovered H-Mart - a giant Asian grocery store where the produce is always spring-time fresh and, most importantly, cheaper than Central Market (which is wonderful as well), even Kroger (e.g. a bunch of Kroger cilantro goes for 99c; for $1, I can get 4 bunches at H-Mart).

Also, I realised that, with all my travelling and cooking for various friends and family, I needed to find a way to take my recipes with me. Unbeknownst then, I had already created a portable recipe book really with this blog. Which makes me wonder whether this blog is going to morph again, as its author moves on in life.

I've also compiled a list of recipes that we eat regularly. I've tagged them "family menu" here for convenience. One of them is a recipe for Steamed Sea Bass, courtesy of an elderly lady I once knew in London, and whose hospitability meant that I often graced her table for homecooked chinese food when I was homesick. I hope this blesses someone out there too.

RECIPE: Steamed Sea Bass

Ginger, sliced
Ginger, julienned
Scallions, cut into 1 inch stalks
Scallions, julienned
Fresh chilli, julienned

1 tbsp light soya sauce (Lee Kum Kee carries one specially for seafood)
1 tbsp dark soya sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine or Vermouth
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp water
white pepper (optional)

1. Layer one layer of ginger and scallions on a plate. Place fish over. Steam for 8 minutes per pound, but no more than 12 minutes maximum. Remove fish and place on a fresh plate. Sprinkle some salt over to taste.

2. Layer julienned vegetables over fish. Heat oil until smoking. Pour over.

3. Mix sauce and heat to boiling. Pour over.

This is what's on the dinner table tonight. Will post pics!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Just a hint of where we vacationed.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Yes, I'm still here. Got married over Thanksgiving, honeymooned, moved continents/house etc. And now it's Christmas. We're leaving for sub-zero weather tomorrow to be with the family. Back before the new year.

Do give me a little time to settle in and I'll be back in the loop before you can say 'spit roast'. Meanwhile, thanks for your patience. Have been cooking lots and will be back with more recipes and other bits and bobs. Can't wait!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Singapore Part IV - The Artsy Post

I popped into the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) one afternoon. It's housed in a converted old boy's school, very colonial. The art was a little underwhelming. The building, however, I found fascinating - a piece of art in itself.


My red toenails against the pretty floor mosaic.

Through a window. God is watching over us.

This captures my feeling about Singapore:
A clinicized, airconditioned bubble, a man-made Shangri-la,
paradise on earth with a faint question mark overhanging,
outside looking in.

Just a nice pic that brought me back down to earth. =)

Singapore Part III - Getting under the belly of Sg

2.5 weeks to the wedding! I've been slaving till dawn for the last two nights doing revisions - they're done! Starting to pray earnestly about things (best way to get things done): Singapore, London, The Wedding, The Boy, honeymoon, Houston, The Move, married life. I wish I was more enthusiastic about The Move - maybe it hasn't hit me yet. I just get so... judgmental! It's a strange word for this context, but that's just how I feel. Maybe it's natural to feel this way. Maybe moving continents is a bigger deal than I want to give it credit for. Maybe it's gonna get better when I've actually moved. God. Family. Friends. We take too many things for granted.

Well, Singapore has been swell at least. Ah, back to civilization - defined here as things that work, customer service, healthy lifestyle, good food, good weather and having a car. Throw in solid church, lots of greenery, a burgeoning arts scene, "anything that you could ever want" (quote visiting friend - but why Annick Goutal but no Miller Harris?) and The Family - you've got an almost paradise! We take too many things for granted.

Apologies for the random thoughts. Am going to switch to point form mode now, which seems more appropriate given my mood.

Attempt at steak Diane no. 2 - I made sure I had matches this time!

Dinner @Woods, VivoCity - Singapore's largest mall.
This fab restaurant is all about the grill.

I couldn't resist taking many shots of the corn on the cob.
Isn't it the most fabulous corn on the cob you've ever seen?

Satay - I dunno, posh hawker food just doesn't do it for me.

Singapore Sling @ The Raffles Hotel,
with my newly married bridesmaid, C, and her handsome husband!
Passing through on the way home from their honeymoon.

Scotch @The Connoisseur Divan, UE Square.
There's a fab bar next door too!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Singapore Part II - Catching up with old friends

I've been down in the dumps being so far away from The Boy. So, this week I got a grip and got off my butt and met up with old friends. There was my church group at Rider's Cafe, which I didn't take any pictures off. Many of the riding clubs have nifty cafes where the expats hang out. My spa is even located in a turf club! Food is generally ok - you go more for the colonial atmosphere, as they tend to come with - you know, dark wood, white walls, bamboo blinds, whirring fans, muggy breeze.

For most of my Singaporean friends, however, food is actually very important. Here are some of the highlights:

Met up with C and her fiance HM
- we're getting married on the same day!

White steamed chicken
@ The Soup Restaurant, Seah Street.
Best chicken I've had - too bad doesn't come with chicken rice.

Where it comes to chicken rice:
Dad likes 5 Star.
Boon Tong Kee has become too chee chee.
Wee Nam Kee has really gone down - it's tasteless!

We then adjourned to look for some sweets.
I never knew there were so many people in Singapore.
I am told that there are now 4.6 million people in Singapore;
2/3 are citizens and permanent residents;
that leaves a freaking 1.2 million foreigners
- half a million from China!
It was, needless to say, very crowded, but we found a seat @ Crystal Jade.

I thought this dessert menu (above) was pretty decent already, until...

I turned it open and there were blinking 3 more pages of dessert!

@ Killiney Road Coffee Shop with mum, now located at the
busy food hub of Singapore (one of many)
that is Seah St, Liang Seah St, Purvis St and Beach Road
(so many ma la hot pot restaurants! apparently all
opened by Chinese nationals too...)

The coffee is OK.

This blogger is very suaku and has actually
never been to Ya Kun (the Other local coffee shop).

The laksa at Killiney is more lemak (coconut milk) than
Katong Laksa (the Famous laksa now chain).

Mum taught me Singaporean coffee vocab the other day:
kopi = white coffee
kopi peng = iced coffee
kopi o = black coffee
kopi see = with evaporated milk
(they add condensed milk over here)
kopi siew dai = less sugar
("dai" because sugar used to be produced
by a local company called Dai Ho)

Cousins' gathering @ Pasta Brava.
My risotto nero.
Wedding diet prohibits pasta. Grr...

Dim sum with my best friend
@ Golden Peony, Conrad Centennial Hotel).
Truly, Singapore has reached the heights of dim sum sophistication.
More excellent places to go to now!

Other places I like:
Wah Lok, Carlton Hotel (parent's fav)
Shang Palace, Shangri-La Hotel (my fav)

Being a bride-to-be, I've also been noticing restaurant china.
And turning my plate over
- quite a few high-end Chinese restaurants use Narumi!

Catching up with my friend, KC.
We hung out at Dempsey (another food hub).

First @ The Red Dot (brewery).
Great place, laid back, excellent beer (check out my green beer,
which contains spirulina!), good food, not crowded.

Then @ The Wine Company with a bottle of
Burgundy and a platter of cheese.
Hm... wine and cheese goes muggy very quickly in Sg weather,
even in a/c though obviously slower than if outside....

Will update with trip to SAM (Singapore Art Museum) and more cooking adventures!

P.S. The wasabi burger is a stroke of genius! Fish and wasabi - why didn't anyone think of putting Mac's fish-0-fillet with wasabi mayo before?!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Always home: Back in Singapore

Apologies for the dire quality of my pics - I'm still majorly jetlagged. Last time home in Sg as a single!

Excellent Braised Beef Cheek @ Shang Palace, Shangri-La Hotel

The best xiaolongbao in town @ Ming Jiang, Goodwood Park Hotel

I thought this was fascinating: a wasabi burger @ MacDonalds
(Will try and report soon)
On the way out from lunch at the new Taiwanese restaurant
at Liang Court - another Tung Luk venture

New wedding makeup -
Do I really wear all that junk on my face everyday?!
Girls in Sg are way ahead of the game when it comes to makeup -
double eyelid tape anyone? (sounds needlessly painful, if you ask me)

Today we had father-daughter time out (mum was out for lunch with her girl friends). Dad brought me to Hort Park, Singapore's new horticultural oasis. We ate at Kha, a Thai restaurant. Well-executed old favourites in a modern setting. Amazing drinks. Grossly overpriced though.

Good news: I think I've found my wedding shoes!

Singapore is changing so quickly I can't catch up. I think that's a good thing. Whether it's the arts, architecture, food & wine, technology, customer service, public policy savvy or simply to know what's hot and what's going on, Singaporeans are truly ahead of the game. Am excited about the prospect of visiting some of the new art galleries and learning more about Chinese contemporary art (check out Cai Guo Qiang's installation at the Guggenheim on my sidebar). Of course, there is still a "bubble" mentality and the advance can sometimes be more brute superficiality than knowing evolution (Usha Nathan, editor of the Singpaore Art Gallery guide, has a good take on that sentiment here). And the visage of consumerism attacks you from all sides when you drive down Orchard Road. I am impressed and sad at the same time. I guess we'll have to leave it at that for the moment.

Almost home: Houston, TX

We still had to eat, right?

Swirl @ River Oaks Shopping Centre.
A new favourite hangout. Great yoghurt, healthy, opens late.
Take a tub, fill it with yoghurt/fruit/nuts/candy, weigh, pay (a lot).
We really should buy shares.

The Blue Nile, Ethiopian restaurant.
A cosmopolitan eye to Houston.
But really like any Ethiopian food I've had in London,
only because I'm not an expert.

The universal language of beer: Ethopian beer

Absolutely the best blinking migas in town
@ La Guadalupana

... so good we even have it at our lunch break

... that also serves the best guac (and tres leches) in town
(trust me, I've had A LOT of guac).
Chef Transitos Dias adds a Mexican herb in his guac, and his
tres leches has FIVE milks in it.

An old favourite: Reading our Bibles at The Tart Cafe (Montrose).
This is my oasis, my sanctuary, in Houston.
My favourite wi fi spot.

Lovingly hand cut fruits every morning - what a luxury!

My first football game.

My first hurricane experience:

Ok, so we skipped town before Hurricane Ike struck. In SA.
My favourite Krispy Kreme flavour -
I wish they didn't dress it up with all that sugar though.

Cactus! Another first.

The worst we came back to was a VERY smelly fridge.
The Boy cleaning the fridge.
Tip: At this level, forget the charcoal and soda bicarbonate.
Throw open your doors and windows and just AIR the dang thing.

Second home: A second last look

Favourite past-time: Tea!

The menu is actually upside down...

Tip: A cuppa at Fortnum is much nicer than
sitting in Starbucks,
and for almost the same price!

My favourite garden:

Inner circle bench inscriptions:

You have to eat an elephant bite by bite
Bob Wilkinson, 1935-2004

The Awakening,
In fond memory of Anne Lydia Evans, 1929-1999,
who shared the secret of this garden

For Audrey Etta Matthews, 1925-2005,
A place in her memory, for others to enjoy

Nicholas Andrew Bacon, Died 23rd July 1980,
Aged 16 years and 2 months,
who found this garden a haven of peace

In fond memory of Lilian (Doris) & George Richardson,
1923-2003, ever-proud local citizens whose
great admiration for this park began during their
childhood days spent here

Ian Fraser, 1962-2004
We will meet again

With the Sultan of Brunei's brother's
London residence in the background

I will be leaving London for good on 29th November 2008, when I get married. Goodbye - you will always be special in my heart.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Chinese rice bowls

Kung pao prawns last night! Recipe is up here at last. We've been serving chinese leftovers as part of a "rice bowl" (chinese equivalent of a bento box) - big bowl with fried rice, topped with a leftover dish and a side veg. The Boy got these pretty large chinese bowls from Target (which I call "tar-J" as a joke) too, which have proved very useful for our impromptu "rice bowls". I love them! The boy also takes a portable bento box to work for his afternoon snack, which he enjoys and I think our mums would approve of our leftovers maximization project.