Today we arranged to visit a cooking school called Palate Sensations. From 11am to 4pm they were having a sort of an open house with tastings and cooking demos to introduce the school.
A group of the us took a taxi to the school since we had no idea how to walk there although it was actually very close, less than a 5 minute taxi ride. The school is located on the third floor of an older colonial style building. The owner Lynette greeted us upon our arrival and offered us coffee, tea, and snacks.
The first event was to be chocolate tasting with chocolate from an Italian company Amedei. For English, click here. Unfortunately the person who was supposed to do the demo was sick but luckily Lynette had some samples stowed away in the refrigerator so we were still able to taste.
We tried three types:
1. Toscano Brown (a milk chocolate)
2. Toscano Black 70% (a dark chocolate)
3. Chuao (a speciality dark chocolate)
My favorite was #2 It very slowly melts in your mouth. I think it would be great with a cup of espresso or with wine.
Next they had a demo on Indonesian cooking by chef Yuli with a dish called “Risolles Ayam”. She described it as a spring roll or very similar to a croquette. She demonstrated on how to make your own wrappers and the filling. It all seemed very simple and it was also very tasty.
The ingredients for the wrapper are as follows (very similar to a crepe):
150gm sifted self-rising flour
150ml milk (added in 2 parts)
1 beaten egg
~15ml water if batter too thick
30gm melted margarine
Pinch of salt
You whisk together the flour, ~100ml milk, and eggs first. Then add the water and remaining milk. Lastly, add the margarine and pinch of salt and your batter is ready! If it’s too thick, add a little bit of water.
Make sure there are no lumps so whisk well. Cook on medium heat and make them thin but not so thin that it may tear. I’m sure this batter will be useful for all sort of things, like dessert crepes. Yum Yum.
The filling was a bit more complicated:
3 garlic cloves and 5 shallots ground up in mortar and pestle
1 boiled chicken breast, shredded
1 raw carrot, diced
Parsley, finely chopped and excess water squeezed out
(+ or – sweet peas, bean sprouts)
Pinch of salt
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of pepper
Pinch of sugar
50gm self-rising flour, to be incoporated slowly
100ml chicken stock (from boiling above chicken breast, no salt)
Add margarine plus garlic and shallots into the pan to brown first. Then add all ingredients up to the self-rising flour. The seasonings are too taste, so 1 to 3 pinches depending on how you like it. Incoporate the flour in 3 or 4 portions so that it cooks and doesn’t get lumpy. Add the chicken stock and milk and cook until it comes togther.
Prepare 2 beaten eggs and also a mixture of flour + water to use as “glue”. Also, some bread crumbs are needed to coat the spring roll.
Start to make a spring roll by putting a small amount of filling at one end, fold a bit of the wrapper over it, fold in the sides then roll. Use the flour/water glue to seal the roll closed. Then dip the whole thing in the eggs then roll in the bread crumbs to coat. You can pan fry on medium heat, deep fry, or oven bake (with some cheese until golden brown, yum!).
Not too bad eh? You can also prepare these in advance and freeze them up to 1 week. No need to defrost them after freezing, just cook as you normally would since all inside ingredients are already cooked.
Next on the agenda was wine tasting provided by Sensus Wine Studio. The company imports Spanish wines into Singapore. We tried three types:
1. VilaDelloPs Red
2. Dona Rosa (white)
3. Pivilegio (red)
I wasn’t much of a fan of either red but the white wine would have gone really well with some fresh fish. The wines are affordable though, ranging from S$30-50 (I miss my Napa Valley inexpensive wines but this price is considered affordable here in Singapore).
Next we had a brief ice cream machine demo. We would get to try the ice cream in about 25 minutes. It was vanilla and delicious!
Now onto something spicy, the famous Singapore Chili Crab. There is also famous Black or White Pepper Chili Crab. But I love the chili crab for it’s sauce, it’s great with bread. You can apparently buy the sauce premade so that’s probably the way to do it and if you don’t want to deal with shells, just buy canned crab meat and add some potato wedges. Oh so delicious!
We still had more cooking to do today so we headed back to INSEAD for a Korean cooking class. Those who signed up were able to make kimbap (Korean sushi) and also try their hands at making kimchi. I was only there as an observer but still got to eat the samples.
Then there was the official Korean dinner being served at 7pm. It was “make your own bi bim bap”. They had cucumbers, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, spinach, egg, meat, and the special sauce. Oh my tummy was happy 🙂 They also served us some kimchi, pancakes, and bul go gi. Along with soju cocktails to round out the evening. A very good dinner overall.
Every Weds is “bar of the week” and since we’d never been and it was ladies free night, we decided to go. It’s was a place called Butter Factory in Roberston Quay. Inside totally reminds me of Japan because of all the crazy anime characters all over the wall and the silliness of it all. They had Hello Kitty curtains and this huge smiley face as you entered the door. We didn’t stay too long since we’d both had a long day of cooking and eating.