Monday, 24 September 2012

Breakfast at Breko vs Breakfast at Prive


What is it with me and breakfast? I think breakfast food are comfort food. No idea why. Maybe i just like eggs, bacon, sausage, toast and hash brown all in one. I was at Prive and Breko for breakfast food recently. Can't help but do a comparison of the two. Let's take a look.

Breko - Brekofast $8.90 ++

It was a Sunday morning and i was at Holland Village's Breko. I was there before 10am. The place was already half full. Upon surveying the menu, we decided to eat here instead of at Hatched because my sister thinks its cheaper at Breko. She's right. I ordered the Brekofast. It came with 1 sunny side up, scrambled eggs, bacon, 2 small sausages, English muffins and half a grilled tomato. I didn't understand why they wanted to serve 2 eggs done in different ways. My guess is it's for people who cannot decide between sunny side up and scrambled eggs. The sausages were normal. They serve the same ones at Coffee Bean. Even the scrambled eggs were oddly familiar to Coffee Bean's. Same supplier?  My favourite part of this breakfast is the muffin arrived piping hot and the bacon was crispy. Not only do you get what you see for $8.90, all breakfast meals come with free refill of hot coffee or tea (only until 12pm). There was variety of tea flavour to choose from. The only thing missing from this breakfast was HASH BROWN! You gotta have hash brown please!

Prive - Ultimate Brekkie $20 ++

For $20++, i was thinking this better be good! Of course you have to deduct $5 for the view at Keppel Bay Marina but still? This breakfast came with eggs, a sausage, bacon, sauteed button mushroom, grilled tomato, a small salad, toast and hash brown. You can choose the type of eggs you want. I was deciding between poached and scrambled. Poached eggs because Prive is popular for their Egg Benedicts. But after that said, poached eggs are fairly easy do. Scrambled eggs require some technique. So i decided on scrambled eggs. It was nicely done with a hint of cream that made it smooth. The rest of things were only ok. One thing i realised was everything that came was lukewarm. Why? It felt like everything was already pre-cooked and assembled in the kitchen (except the eggs of course). The sausage was barely warm, the bacon was not crispy, the mushrooms were understandably cooked before hand, the hash brown has been left somewhere for awhile, the toast was toasted too early. I was disappointed.

Verdict - I prefer Breko's breakfast on the account that the muffin and bacon were exactly how i liked them. I cannot stand lukewarm stuff and for a $20++ (or $15++) Prive breakfast, i felt short changed.

I was tempted to order french fries at Breko to make up for the missing hash brown. Good thing my sister talked me out of it. In the end, i stopped by Wendy's and got myself a real hash brown. A piping hot one at $1.10. Mission accomplished.

Maybe next weekend i'll go Hatched. Do they have hash brown?

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Happy Call Pan - Okonomiyaki Noodles


I decided to try cook this Jap street food because my little sister brought me to eat the one at Takashimaya basement 2. Apparently she is a fan of it. After standing there and watching the chef stir fry the noodles, crack the egg, sprinkle the cheese and do all the necessary flipping, i decided i can do that too! Armed with the Happy Call Pan that is perfect for this flipping job (no oil!), all i needed to do was get the Okonomiyaki sauce and the necessary ingredients. Without further ado, here is the recipe:

- Yellow noodles (as much as you want to eat) (I know the right noodles to use is the yakisoba but yellow noodles works fine too!)
- Cabbage (same rule as above, as much as you want to eat)
- Meat (Any type of meat you want for your noodles. You can even put mock meat. Whatever pleases you!)
- Okomomiyaki Sauce (I got mine from Isetan Supermarket. $5.90 for 300g. I'm sure it is easily available at any Jap mart.)
- Japanese Mayonnaise
- Egg (optional)
- Mozarella Cheese (optional)
- Plain flour 1 tbsp (for the base batter)
- Water

Okonomiyaki Sauce (Left), Jap Mayo (Right)
This is the sauce i was talking about. I'm quite sure this is the authentic taste! The jap mayo really gave this dish a boost in flavour. These two definitely go together.

Noodles with Cabbage and Meat
First, pan fry any meat you are using in the happy call pan until it is cooked. Next, throw in the cabbage to stir fry and soak up any of the meat juice left. I added some Okonomiyaki sauce to the cabbage to enhance its flavour. If you like the taste to be stronger, add more sauce. Cook the cabbage until soft. Take note to have minimum liquid in the pan when you add the noodles next. Having too much liquid in the pan will cause the noodles to soften too much. Throw in the meat to stir fry everything together. Add Okonomiyaki sauce for flavour.

Base batter
The ratio i used is 1 part flour to 4 parts water. So with 1 tbsp of flour, add 4 tbsp of water. Stir well to eliminate any lumps. When you are ready to cook, pour part of the batter onto the hot pan.

Batter, noodles, eggs and morzarella cheese
When the batter is set, add noodles onto it. If you want egg, make a small well in the middle of the noodles and crack an egg in. Break it and let it ooze through the noodles. If you want cheese, spread the shredded morzarella cheese on top.

Okomomiya Noodles after flipping
Next comes the tricky part if you are not using the Happy Call Pan. You need to flip the noodles over so that the cheese can melt! I suggest you try to do that with 2 frying spatula like the chefs do at Taka basement. If you aren't confident, start with a smaller mass of noodles. If all else fails, do it like the carrot cake man. Flip portion by portion. If you are using the Happy Call Pan, close the pan and flip it over. It takes about 2 minutes or less for the cheese to melt and brown. Turn off the fire.

Okonomiyaki Noodles
For the final touch, add mayo in top of the melted cheese (or egg). The mayo will be thick. Just smear it around with the back of the soup. Add a layer of Okonomiyaki Sauce on top. Serve immediately.

There are some other things you can serve with the leftover Okonomiyaki sauce and mayo. Like Panko Eggs or Potato Coquette. That'll be another recipe for another time!

Monday, 3 September 2012



Last weekend i tried to make Naan. I was quite impressed with my first attempt. The naans turned out to be good, soft and flavourful. Best eaten immediately when it is ready. I used my own convectional oven for baking. There was no need for a tandoor oven or a baking stone whatsoever. As you can see from the picture, it turned out quite decent!


Here is the website i learned how to make the naan from. There is a video for easy reference too! -

Here is the recipe from the website which i tweaked a little:

  • 280g of All Purpose flour (i used more flour than the recipe said because my dough turned out to be very watery! More like a batter instead. So 280 - 300g should be fine. Some extra for the rolling later!)
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons yogurt (I used the normal plain yogurt)
  • 180ml of water (initially warm water is used to dissolve the dry active yeast. But if you are using instant yeast, you do not need to dissolve the yeast in warm water)
  • 1 teaspoon of clear butter or ghee to butter the Naan (the recipe called for this but i omitted it as i didn't see the point in buttering the naan. But i think its done so that the naan will not dry out if you don't consume it immediately.)

  1. Add yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda to the flour. Mix well.
  2. Add the water, oil and yogurt. Mix/Knead until the dough is smooth. Cover the dough (i used a cling wrap to cover the bowl) and keep in a warm place 1 hour or until it double in volume. (It is ok to let the dough sit for a few hours if you are not ready to cook it. I even put my left over dough in the fridge and baked the next day. It was even more delicious with all the yeast flavour infused! Be sure to let the dough come to room temperature before attempting to roll and bake it)
  3. Heat the oven to 250 degrees celscius with the baking tray in the middle rack. The tray need not be greased.
  4. Knead the dough for about two to three minutes and divide the dough into six equal parts. The lady in the video oiled her hands before separating the dough. I did the same so that the dough will not stick to my hands. (Some dough still got stuck though!)
  5. Take each piece of dough, one at a time, and roll into 8-inch oval shape. Dust lightly with dry flour to help with the rolling.
  6. Before putting the Naan in oven, lightly wet your hands and take the rolled Naan, and flip them between your palms and place onto your baking tray in the oven.
  7. The Naan will take about 2 to 3 minutes to cook, depending upon your oven. After the Naan is baked it should be golden brown color on top.
  8. Take naan out of the oven and brush lightly with clear butter or ghee. (Can be omitted)
  9. Wait 2 to 3 minutes before baking the next batch of naan. It gives oven the chance to get heated again to max.

Initially i made this naan to eat with the Butter Chicken i wanted to make. The Butter Chicken didn't turn out well. Hence i'm only posting the recipe for the naan. I will make this again when we are having curry at home!