….because you can make them quickly and easily at home, and oh so much better. I remember when I first started to cook and I used to doctor up jarred tomato sauce with herbs and such. I felt very clever about making it “better” – until my mother said, hey, basically you can use plain old tomatoes and make a REAL sauce doing very nearly the same steps. A mind blowing food moment for a teenager – cooking is… easy?!?
The last lasagne that I had was at a potluck party, where a friend SL made the most delicious eggplant, mushrooms, beef, pork and tomato number. It was oozy and comforting and I had no trouble clearing out a hefty portion. The lasagne went down easy. The only problem was that it kinda sat in my stomach like a stone for a rather long while after that. Although I know that the blame falls largely on me for lacking self-control, it got me thinking as to whether I could create a lighter lasagne, that was just as hearty and satisfying.
One of the restaurants that people keep asking me if I’ve tried is Jamie’s Italian. Ever since Jamie Oliver opened his eponymous casual Italian eatery here in Singapore, there’s been an almost non-stop buzz surrounding it. The fact that most customers have to wait in line (for often over an hour) — only a tiny fraction of tables are available for reservations (online) and I’ve been told that the next available table is in 3 months — has obviously helped to build the hype. Well, last week (and thanks to a buddy who was able to score me a table), my wife S and I, plus two friends, were finally able to try this much-talked about restaurant.
These days, whenever I’m driving up or down Thomson Road, if my two and a half year old son T is in the car with me, I’ll inevitably hear him peep, “Pizza?” when we get within sight of United Square. I’ve already written previously that my lil’ boy is a complete pizza addict. And his favorite pizzas in Singapore are the ones served at Extra Virgin Pizza, whose large sign facing the road is akin to a bat signal to our tiny terror. The second he spies that sign, with its iconic hand-making-a-V-logo, his little eyes light up and he begins to implore mama and papa that he simply must have pizza for lunch or dinner that day.
If you are hankering for some Italian culinary magic in Tokyo, you could do a lot worse than Appia Alta at Nishi Azabu. When our waitress pushed the bountiful appetizer cart over to our table, I resisted the temptation to order everything on display. Here is a selection of what my party of four had.
Six centuries, twenty-six generations, fifteen Italian estates and seven others around the world. In the world of Italian wines, Marchesi Antinori is a name synonymous with quality, innovation and creativity. While most are familiar with their wines of Tignanello, Solaia and Guado al Tasso, there are other good and affordable wines beyond this familiar horizon.
One of the first blogs that really got me hooked onto reading about food, and inspired me to write about food, was Orangette. When I read Molly’s writing, I feel like I’m sitting right in her living room, sitting cross-legged on her sofa, listening to her stories. I fell in love with her heartfelt words, her honest photographs, and mostly, her delicious, never-fail recipes. Whenever I find myself in need of gastronomic inspiration, I browse her recipe index and pick whichever I’m in the mood for that day. She always has just the thing for me. Take this prosciutto pasta for instance.
Located in the hip meatpacking district of New York City, Del Posto is one of those restaurants that, when you enter its premises. simply takes your breath away. To the left, there is a classically designed dark wood bar and in the middle, a grand staircase that leads up to the second floor of the restaurant and brings you a little closer to the huge sparkling crystal chandelier.
You’ll ditch store-bought options once you realise how little it takes to make a seriously yummy tomato sauce of your own! This is my favourite tomato sauce recipe. It’s easy to make, incredibly tasty and relatively inexpensive. I’m a firm believer of layering flavours. And with a jar of this tomato sauce sitting in the fridge or freezer, part of the work of throwing a meal together is already done.
I’ve just come back from a two-week holiday in London and Paris, during which I ate until I started hallucinating, and drank more wine than I had in the last twelve months combined. It was, as you can imagine, a completely indulgent vacation of hedonistic proportions, and a blow to my wallet from which it may never recover (hence justifying my purchase of a pretty new wallet from a luxury men’s store near Portobello market). Over this and my next couple of posts, I’ll share some of the more memorable, and hopefully less well-known, restaurants I visited, starting with Bocca di Lupo, a casual pan-Italian joint in London’s theater district.