Thursday, September 23, 2004


Gluttons Square

A couple of days ago, R. and I went out for dinner and a movie. (Btw, if you're looking for mindless entertainment and a good laugh, go catch Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story; it's really funny!)

These were the three dishes we shared:

Fried oyster omelette. Look at the plump oysters resting on the fried eggs. The latter is actually a batter of egg and tapioca starch. The result? A thick omelette that is soft and gooey on the inside, and crispy on the outside. Forget the astronomical amount of oil that goes into this dish. Sin first, repent later.

Mutton murtabak with curry gravy. Basically roti prata (hand-flipped pancake) with a meat and onion filling. This murtabak was good! The prata was thin, fluffy and crispy on the outside, while the filling was very generous. Another artery-clogging dish.

Close-up of the filling: heavily-spiced minced mutton meat with chopped onions. Very generous amount of filling indeed.

Popiah. After two sinful dishes, we needed something healthy to redeem ourselves. These are fresh spring rolls, filled with stewed turnip shreds, boiled beansprouts, fresh lettuce, boiled shrimp, chopped cooked egg, chopped roasted peanuts, sweet sauce and/or chili sauce.

Close-up of the popiah filling.

Here are some pictures of the popiah man at work.

First, spread sweet sauce on the wrapper.

Chili sauce for those who like it hot.

The works.

Finally, the main ingredient of stewed turnip. This has been cooked together with sauteed garlic and shallots and allowed to simmer till soft and sweet.

Roll and cut into slices. Voila!

This was where we indulged in our cholesterol fix (don't worry, we do this only once in a blue moon), under a romantic canopy of stars. Gluttons Square is currently a hot outdoor dining hawker experience right in the middle of Singapore's Orchard Road. This was supposed to be only a month-long event to mark Singapore's annual Food Fest in July, but it has proved so popular that it has been extended to Feb '05. So, visitors to Singapore, do check out this alfresco food square for a taste of Singapore's most popular local dishes.


Wednesday, September 22, 2004


A Scent-suous Experience

Today, the piano tuner came to our flat to tune my piano. I was busy stir-frying vegetables in the kitchen, so R. opened the door for him. According to the latter, the tuner's very first comment when he stepped in was, "Whoa, someone's cooking lunch!"

During the one hour that he tuned the piano, I whipped up 2 other dishes: trio of braised mushrooms in oyster sauce, and fish with tomatoes in sweet soy and shallot sauce. Needless to say, the heady aroma of mushrooms, oyster sauce, shallots and garlic permeated the entire flat. Before the tuner left, he said to me, "You must be a very good cook. I can smell it!"

No, I didn't relate the above incident to boast about my cooking skills. If a dish is smells great, it doesn't guarantee that it'll taste perfect, for instance, it may be too salty, slightly overcooked, too greasy, etc. The moral behind this little tale is: The smell of food is actually the very first thing you taste. Before you begin eating, the fragrant wafts from the food has already made you salivate in anticipation.

I once saw this documentary that did a study on our sense of smell. The researcher asked his subjects to pinch their noses before and while eating a mystery substance. No one could identify that substance. Once they unpinced their noses, they realised they were tasting cinnamon, a very strong-smelling spice! This proves that without our sense of smell, we wouldn't be able to 'taste' our food.

Somehow, I just find that savoring the wonderful fragrances that arise while cooking is a deeply satisfying and therapeutic experience. I simply love the aroma of sauteing onions, stewing dried Shittake mushrooms, browning ginger in sesame oil, roasting honeyed baby ribs, barbequeing marinated chicken wings, cooking a rich coconut-based curry, baking rich butter cookies...oh, the list is endless!

That's why I named this blog, AromaCookery, derived from the term 'aromatherapy'. To me, cooking is a great way for me to take my mind off work and other worries. The fabulous aromas that arise simply lift my spirits and at the end of the cooking session, I emerge happy and satisfied, albeit slightly tired. But the satisfaction of seeing my family devour my food is definitely worth it! I'll be sharing my "aroma-cooking-therapy" experiences here. Please do give me your comments; I'm still a beginner cook and am grateful for any constructive criticism. I'll also be posting my eat-out adventures. Hey, having a great meal out is food therapy too!


Tuesday, September 21, 2004


Maiden Blog

Hi bloggers, welcome to AromaCookery! I'm a budding food blogger, having been inspired to start my own blog after regularly reading other exciting food blogs. This blogging thingy is totally new to me, so I'm still trying to figure out the technicalities. As with cooking, it will take some practice and time to improve this weblog. I hope you'll stay tuned as I embark on this holistic food journey.


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