Corner House by Jason Tan, Singapore

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The Corner House is named after EJH Corner, a previous assistant director at the Singapore Botanical Gardens. It occupied the previous Au Jardin by the Les Amis group, in a converted bungalow with plenty of atmosphere. Chef Jason Tan brings "Gastro-Botanica" cuisione, whereby "plants are given fuller elaborations, and garnishing becomes a highlight in its own right."

Amuse Bouche: Top left, home made fish cracker with creme fraiche and tobiko. The cracker is very flavourful but not fishy or oily. The creme fraiche gives a slight balance. However I didn't find the tobiko added much and made it too salty. Top right, slow cooked Norwegian salmon with yellow pepper. Bottom left, gruyere sponge. Very light cake with just a hint of the cheese. Needed a little bit more something though. Bottom right, steamed brioche with egg yolk. Perhaps a play on a macaron, but the egg yolk needed far more flavour. It didn't taste much of egg, nor indeed of anything in particular.

corner house, singapore

Carabinero Prawn. The plate was beautifully presented, and the prawn was very sweet. Nicely counter balanced by the variety of tomatoes prepared via different techniques from a dehydrated fruit to a sorbet.

corner house, singapore 4

Cevennes onion done 4 ways. Onion with 62 degree egg and black truffle; dehydrated onion;
onion confit and cheese on filo pastry; onion tea.

corner house, singapore 5

I think this was inspired by French onion soup. Inside the onion is a poached egg, which was beautifully done as it was lovely and soft. It was then topped with grated black truffles and truffle oil. Although told the entire thing is edible, sans the skin, it was quite difficult to actually get the onion flesh out to eat. However there was an overall infusion of sweet onion flavour without the funky smell sometimes associated.

This was further epitomised by the onion tea. It may sound appalling but chef actually made it work very well. It tastes like what I would imagine the essence of a sweet fresh onion would taste like. The earl grey tea was overshadowed by the onion though.

corner house, singapore 2

Foie Gras a la Chinoise. Perhaps I've been spoiled by the absolute massive generous serving at Pollen, but this felt a little small. The three slices of foie gras was very nice but I would have preferred a compote or sweet preserve to go with it. The accompanying pickled mago was too sour.

corner house, singapore 6

Maine Lobster. The poached lobster was again perfectly cooked and very sweet. A crustacean emulsion on top helped intensify the flavour too. The rizo pasta was mixed with bits of squid for extra texture.

corner house, singapore 7

New Zealand Cod "Crispy Scales". Cod pan seared to such a crisp that even the scales were edible. The fish remained juicy and tender despite the crispy scales. It sat atop some petit vegetables and a sabayon sauce that had a good balance of flavour and creaminess. A hanaho flower (I think it's also known as shiso) added a slight bouquet.

corner house, singapore 8

Japanese A5 Omi Beef. The day's cut was a striploin, ordinarily not really a cut I go for but the beef is already so marbled and tender even this relatively unfatty cut was amazing. A short selection of beetroot, whole and puréed, added a sweet yet earthy companion. The black garlic crumbs however was a bit too mild, lacking any significant garlic aroma.

corner house, singapore 9

The palate cleanser was a little bit more complicated than usual. Basil sorbet sat atop a jelly of what felt like yuzu, with some pineapple and mango scattered about. There was also a little mound of sago jelly, which didn't really have a big impact on the dish.

corner house, singapore 11

We asked to have one of each dessert to share which they kindly obliged. 

My Interpretation of Kaya Toast. Pandan, coconut, gula melaka, muscovado sable and yuzu. The chef's version of local favourite kaya toast was a decent attempt, but quite frankly it just didn't have enough kaya flavour to it. Without being told beforehand, I may not have recognised it. Also the cracker "toast" was a bit too hard, in the sense that it was difficult to crack it into smaller pieces to eat. I ended up biting into it and the "kaya" smeared all over the place.

corner house, singapore 10

The chocolate "pebbles" was a much better dessert dish. The chocolate mousse was shaped to look exactly like a rock, but was in fact creamy and soft. It had just the right level of richness without being too overpowering, while the chocolate "soil" added more chocolate flavour and much needed texture. The larger mushrooms were marshmallow, cutely shaped, with a few real mushrooms thrown in to confuse some people.

corner house, singapore 12

corner house, singapore 13

Petit fours. From left, macadamia with dark chocolate powder; choux pastry with chantilly cream;
macaron with salted egg yolk. The salted egg yolk had a decidedly bold flavour which actually worked well with the sweet macaron pastry.

corner house, singapore 3

Overall, the bill came up to about $580 for the dinner discovery menu for 2 people, without drinks.

Corner House
E J H Corner House, 1 Cluny Road
Tel: +65 64691000


Chicco I-Move Car Seat and Stroller

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

One of the most useful and important (and potentially expensive) things one can get for a baby will be the stroller or pram. Yet its one of the seemingly more important things to choose, as who doesn't one precious little baby to be safe yet comfortable while being whizzed around here and there. Thankfully, one of my aunts work in Chicco, and not only provided useful product discounts but advice as well.

Chicco i-move

So to start with, we had a Chicco I-Move. You can see it much better in this promotional video, starring a Mr. Bean-like character, regarding its features. At the time it was the newest model available.

One of the most interesting features was its ability to swivel the pram around depending on whether you wanted baby to face you or the cruel outside world. Doing so was really easy as well, just a press of a foot pedal and a turn of the cot and baby has just had its world spun round.

Chicco i-move

Another selling point from the salesgirl was that it was a modular system. The full set of 3 comes with a wheelbase, a car seat (to be used from birth) and a pram for the larger child.

Chicco i-move

The most useful feature for me was that the car seat could be taken out from the car, and attached onto the wheelbase to then be effectively used as a baby pram. This was especially useful when baby has fallen asleep on a drive and he can continue sleeping in comfort out of the car as well, since we didn't have to wake him up by moving him somewhere else.

Chicco i-move car seat

Chicco i-move

At the time of writing, we didn't get a chance to use the pram for the larger child, so our experience is mostly based on just the car seat cum pram. for the newborn.

I have to say, it is really big and chunky. I usually end up being the one having to take it in and out of the car as the little wife has difficult managing (or so she claims!). The car seat weighs about 5kg and the wheelbase about the same again. Even though the wheelbase can fold itself in half, it still takes up a chunky 30% or so space of my carboot (Honda Civic). The pram for the larger child is even bigger!

Chicco i-move

For all that though, the bigger size comes with the feeling and sensation of durability and safety. It really feels like a steady piece of work. The “ride” for baby also looks very smooth and comfortable, and despite its size, is highly manoeuvrable, when compared to some of the cheaper brands we tried.

Chicco i-move

Another minor disadvantage I found was that the storage space underneath the wheelbase was really puny. We usually left it empty as not many things could fit inside. We got around the problem by hanging bags off the pram handles. The pram is so sturdy and heavy that it could easily support 3 or 4 shopping bags hanging off it. Also, the stroller comes with a really useful diaper bag. The material is really soft and light, comes with internal and external pockets to stuff all your necessities.

We've been using the I-move for the past 8 months and since baby is now a bit too tall for the I-Move, we have recently gotten a new Chicco car seat: the NextFit. We have yet to properly test it out, but it looks promising! It'll probably be reviewed after a month or so.

So in summary, 
what we love about the Chicco I-move: the 360° rotating seat, works as a car seat as well, comfortable material, sturdy and the diaper bag that comes with it! 
what we hate about it: bulky and the lack of storage space.

Chicco i-move

This post is sponsored by Chicco Malaysia, but all opinions are most definitely my own!

Baby J's Fullmoon Cupcakes

Friday, 24 January 2014

Better late than never, I made these cupcakes for Baby J's fullmoon party. Yeah, you heard me right, FULL MOON, and Baby J's already 4 months+! I'm still getting the hang of motherhood so please bear with me.

Banana cupcakes

Made 2 different cupcake flavours, one banana and the other orange and poppy seed. I reduced the sugar used in the orange and poppy seed cupcakes as the original recipe was quite sweet. Could reduce more as it was still a bit sweet. Omitted the almond extract as it made the cakes taste like marzipan. A big no no for me. If you like the taste of marzipan, simply add in 1/4 tsp of almond extract. As for the frosting, I used my go-to recipe for Italian meringue buttercream, you can get the recipe here.

Since it was a bit last minute, the little milk bottle decorations were store-bought while the buttons were made using gumpaste.

Orange and poppy seed cupcakes

I haven't baked for the longest time, 2 years maybe? So, "If you don't use it, you lose it.", the cupcakes under the pretty frosting weren't exactly...ideal.  The cupcakes cracked and worst of all, some overflowed! Not sure how that happened! I ended up chopping off the cupcake tops. Really need to get my baking mojo back.

Orange and poppy seed cupcakes

Orange & Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Printable recipe
By Pig Pig's Corner
adapted from Lindy Smith's The Contemporary Cake Decorating Bible: Over 150 Techniques and 80 Stunning Projects

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Yield: 15-20 depending on case size

  • 185 g unsalted butter
  • 140 g caster sugar
  • 100 g marmalade
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 80 ml orange juice
  • 185 g self-raising flour
  • 60 g ground almonds
  • 40 g poppy seeds
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • Preheat oven to 170°C.
  • Line trays with cupcake cases.
  • Place butter, sugar, marmalade, orange zest and juice in a pan and stir over low heat until the mixture is melted. Allow to cool.
  • Sift flour and almonds into a mixing bowl. Add poppy seeds, mix, then made a well in the centre.
  • Gradually pour the cooled liquid into the well and mix until smooth.
  • Add eggs and mix until combined.
  • Pour or pipe the mixture into the cupcake cases until they are about 2/3 full.
  • Bake for about 20 mins or until a fine skewer inserted into the centre of one of the cakes comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in the pan for 5 mins before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Catalunya, Singapore

Sunday, 19 January 2014

The past year has seen a dramatic change in lifestyle for the two of us, for the very simple reason that two has become three. When the PigPig found she was pregnant, that limited our usual eating excursions due to a combination of pregnancy symptoms as well as dietary limitations. Now that the little one is out, we are still adapting to life, and going out for meals with him in tow is particularly challenging.

Thankfully, we employed a confinement nanny for the first two months, and 7 weeks in decided to abandon baby at home and have a date night by ourselves. Having missed out on a holiday to Barcelona recently to take care of baby, we thought we’ll have some Spanish cuisine here in Singapore. Therefore, Catalunya seemed quite appropriate.

Catalunya, Singapore

The 120 seat restaurant is located in Fullerton Pavilion, an outpouching on the waters of Marina Bay, within spitting distance of the Merlion. Internally, it was beautifully modern and sleek, unsurprising given it was conceived by an award-winning design firm. Lots of the touches inside had a distinct Spanish flair, most noticeably the big bulls head (whatever your thoughts may be on bullfighting), although subtler notes such as the predominant usage of cacti (given Spain’s large arid swathes of land). However, some people may find the ambient lighting a bit too dark, and I noticed a couple on a separate table using their iPhone to read the menu!

Catalunya, Singapore

SPHERICAL OLIVES”. Given that the executive chef has had a decade’s experience at el Bulli, it should be no surprise that these olives were not what they seemed. Instead, they were little balloons of olive-flavoured goo. While this kind of technique is nothing new, I have to say that the skin is the thinnest I’ve encountered so far. However, the usage of molecular cuisine to this doesn’t add anything particularly interesting, and I think eating qualityy “real” olives is actually much better.

Catalunya, Singapore-SPHERICAL OLIVES

AVOCADO ROLL”. Very reminiscent of a sushi maki roll, this had generous portions of lobster meat with avocado, salmon roe and caviar on top, sitting on what felt to be a soy-based-sauce. Perhaps a tad uninspired and somewhat unusual in a Spanish restaurant, but it was actually pretty good with all the flavours combining well without overshadowing the lobster taste.

Catalunya, Singapore-AVOCADO ROLL

FOIE GRAS AND EEL ESCALIBADA”. Apparently a traditional Catalan dish, it is essentially a layering with a bed of eggplant topped with pepper, foie gras and eel. The overall combination of flavours was good, and a nice touch was a slight sugary glaze giving a slight crunch as well as a little sweetness to the dish. However, I have to admit though that I didn’t taste the foie (although the PigPig said she did) so I wish they had given more.


CROQUETAS DE JAMÓN”. However, the croquettes here were amply provisioned with ham. In fact, perhaps there was a tad too much ham, as it was a bit on the salty side. Other than that, it had a creamy interior with a mild cheesy taste. Juxtaposing that was a thin but mildly crunchy exterior (possibly made with panko?).

Catalunya, Singapore-CROQUETAS DE JAMÓN

TORTILLA DE TRAMPO”. It certainly doesn’t get more Spanish than a tortilla. However, this is anything but humble, with a creamy interior oozing egg yolk. There was also a generous application of chorizo within, giving a richer taste.

Catalunya, Singapore-TORTILLA DE TRAMPO

ROASTED MEAT CANELÓN”. In one of my favourite plates of the night, a mix of beef and chicken meat along with a hint of mushroom was wrapped in a crepe before being smothered in a luxuriously decadent cheesy sauce. The chicken flavor was a bit anonymous, but the beef and mushroom combined wonderfully for a deep and rich aroma. I was a bit worried about the cheese (can’t abide strong cheese smells) but this was just right, without overpowering the crepe.

Catalunya, Singapore-ROASTED MEAT CANELÓN

BOMBAS DE LA BARCELONETA”. Essentially, a ball of minced meat inside another ball of potato. While the potato was quite fluffy, the meat filling was a bit so-so, lacking any real feature to stand out. It says a lot that without the mayonnaise and bravas sauce on top, this would have been particularly bland. This would have been passable as a standard tapas in a typical bar, but in this surroundings for this price, I expect more.


OCTOPUS A FEIRA”. Such as this for example. The chunky pieces of octopus had a charred surface to give extra aroma, but still remained tender and soft. Based on past experience, this really spoke volumes about the chef’s skill, as I tend to be served octopus pieces resembling chopped car tyres rather than actual food. There were also a few smaller pieces of pork belly. They were not bad, but really I wish I had more octopus. All this was inside a frothy airy sauce which may be light on substance, but heavy on the flavour.

Catalunya, Singapore-OCTOPUS A FEIRA

TORRIJA”. Apparently a traditional dish more from central Spain than Catalonia, this consists of two parts. One being some bread (brioche in this case) which have been soaked in milk (for 12 hours along with some herbs and spices too). The other (which I doubt is traditional at all) is ice cream made from smoked milk. The smokiness was very strong and the ice cream would have been difficult to eat on its own. However, paired with the sweetish bread, the combination suddenly becomes a brilliant pairing with a lot of character.

Catalunya, Singapore-TORRIJA

LEMON PIE”. Catalunya’s slightly different take on a lemon pie, this had the lemon custard sitting in the middle, with the meringue inside a cone. The lemon custard was as promised by the menu, full of zest and lemon essence, and would have been a little bit too tart if not for the sweetness of the meringue for balance. The cone served as the alternative to a tart’s pastry, but more delicate.

Catalunya, Singapore-lemon pie

I had a glass of red Malbec, which was decent if not spectacular. The PigPig meanwhile had a cocktail meanwhile, called Lola. Featuring a mixture of sherry and blue cheese syrup (!!), this was truly something unique. I personally found it abhorrent, but I cannot take blue cheese. The better half however loved it, finding the nutty cheese combining well with the sweetness of the sherry (cheese is typically eaten with a sweet preserve too so I guess this is a variant thereof). She also found the taste slightly reminiscent of durian (and I’ve had Caucasian friends comment that durian smelled a bit like cheese).

Catalunya, Singapore-lola cocktail

Altogether, the bill came up to about $230 for the two of us. Service throughout was good, if not particularly striking or noteworthy. The best interaction was with a Spanish staff, who was clearly pleased when I declared the torrija to be brilliant.

Overall, the food was of very high quality, with a few exceptional dishes sampled. A couple seemed a bit uninspired and lacking in creativity, but was still tasty. To put it another way, even the weakest dish was of above average quality. However, most of the dishes we sampled were cheese-intensive and heavy. We noted a lot of people ordering the suckling pig (which was cut into pieces by the table with a plate) and lobster rice, but we opted against ordering that to sample more tapas dishes. Perhaps next time with a bigger group.

The Fullerton Pavilion
82 Collyer Quay Singapore 049327
General enquiries: +6534 0188
Reservations: +6534 0886
Official website

Baby Bath Essentials

Thursday, 12 December 2013

I never had to bath Baby J until a month ago when the confinement lady left. All I did was observe, take pictures and have fun. We were taught how to bath a baby during the antenatal classes we attended, sounded easy, but in actual fact, it's NOT especially bathing a newborn. Baby J was not hard like the dummy, he was so small, delicate and slippery, felt like I could break his bone just by carrying him.


During the bath, you have to support the baby's head and body with one of your arm and hand. And with the other hand, clean the baby using a washcloth. After that, you have to somehow flip him over and wash the baby's back and bottom. I left that to the professionals for newborn Baby J. Now that he's much stronger and can somehow support his own neck, it's somewhat easier. The first time was a challenge as I was completely on my own. He's not as light as before and very active. He almost, ALMOST slipped from my arm. And he was naked for quite some time after the bath while I scrambled for all his stuff. So have everything ready!

chicco bath thermometer

Here are a few bath essentials for Baby J:
  • Baby bath tub
  • Chicco No-Tears Bath Shampoo - contains pot marigold which has skin-softening properties. Dilute a few squirts in the bath.
  • Chicco Sweet Perfumed Water - it apparently contains an ingredient that acts as mosquito repellent. Simply put a few drops into the bath.
  • Washcloth - for cleaning the body in the bath tub.
  • Chicco Globe Fish Bath Thermometer - it is shaped like a puffer fish and floats in water. It has a thermo-sensitive strip that changes colour according to temperature.
  • Muslins - those old school nappies. I like to use these instead of towels as they are thin and have a surprising degree of absorbency. They are cheap and also quick to dry. I usually use this to wrap around Baby J right after removing him from the tub and before putting him on a towel, on the bed.
  • Towel
  • Cotton balls - for cleaning the eyes
  • Q-tips - for ear care
  • Chicco Body lotion - contains sweet almond milk with softening and nourishing properties. Very light and not greasy, perfect for the hot and humid weather where we are.
  • Chicco Nappy Cream - contains zinc oxide (10%), which creates a breathable protective barrier against nappy rash and panthenol contributes to regenerate baby's skin.
  • Chicco Massage Oil - contains rice bran oil, which has moisturising and smoothing effect on the skin. It contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which is important in order to restore the hydrolipidic barrier that is impaired in dry skin. I usually use this to massage Baby J after cleaning him at night.

Chicco Baby moments

Check out Chicco website for their complete range of Baby Moments products to take care of baby’s sensitive and delicate skin. All Chicco Baby Moments products are:
  • Parabens Free
  • Hypoallergenic and clinically tested
  • SLS and SLES Free
  • Alcohol Free (except eau de cologne)
  • Dyes Free
  • Clinically tested
After a month of bathing him, I think I finally got the hang of it. Here are a few tips:
  1. Get all the essentials ready including a fresh nappy and his clothes.
  2. Have a muslin/towel placed near the bath tub to wrap him afterwards.
  3. Try to wait till he poos and pees before taking a bath.
  4. Wash his bottom before putting him in the bath.
  5. Prepare another bucket of water just in case he poos in the bath. That happens! 
  6. Go to the gym and build up your arm muscles! 
This post is sponsored by Chicco Malaysia, but all opinions are most definitely my own!

Boppy Feeding Pillow

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Boppy pillow

One thing I can't live without now is the Boppy pillow.

Boppy pillow

Imagine having to hold a >4 kg baby against your breast for more than 30 mins without any support! And no matter how much I want to tone my arms, trust me, not this way. Most of the time, feeding the baby doesn't only involve holding the baby against your breast, you'll have to hold the tiny little body and balance the baby's head with one arm, support your breast to help the baby latch on with the other. And you'd wish you have more arms when the baby starts to put on a fight with your breast.

Boppy cradle hold

The Boppy pillow is a nursing pillow to make your breastfeeding life easier. It is designed to wrap around your body snugly and you can then rest the baby on top to feed comfortably. Since I had a c-section, it's best to breastfeed the baby via football hold, where you tuck the baby under your arm on one side. Since a baby is much heavier than a football, you will need the support underneath your arm! It is also great for use during bottle feeding. You won't have to hunch forward, which is really bad for your back.

Boppy football hold

The boppy pillow is very versatile. You can prop the baby up after feeding with the head resting up. The head is slightly elevated, which reduces acid reflux and prevents regurgitation. As you can see, the whole pillow wraps around the body of the baby, so you don't have to worry about the baby rolling off the pillow. But the baby may slip downwards when the baby kicks and moves around and you'll have to prop the baby back up again. When the baby is older, it serves as a nest for tummy time and to helps the baby learn to sit upright.

Boppy pillow

Another thing I like about the Boppy is that the pillow's slipcover can be taken off easily by unzipping the zip behind. There are many slipcover designs to choose from and both the pillow and slipcover are machine washable and tumble dryable.

Boppy slipcover

This post is sponsored by Chicco Malaysia, but all opinions are most definitely my own!

Penne with Lobster

Monday, 11 November 2013

Was the lobster bisque too rich for you? You may want to try using the lobster stock for this really flavourful pasta dish instead.

Penne with lobster

Penne with Lobster

Printable recipe
By Pig Pig's Corner

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Yield: serves 2

  • 150 g penne
  • 1 can (400 g) plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup lobster stock
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black peppercorn
  • Parsley
  • Red chili flakes

  • Combine plum tomatoes, lobster stock and sugar in a pot. Bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer until about half (about 20 mins).
  • While sauce is simmering, cook pasta according to manufacturer's instructions. Drain and leave aside for later use.
  • Stir in heavy cream.
  • Mix in cooked pasta.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve with chili flakes.