Saturday, 25 July 2015

Heap Seng Leong Coffeeshop (Lavendar)

Coffee with Butter (Kopi Gu You) $1.10, Kaya Toast $1.20 and Soft Boiled Eggs $1
Heap Seng Leong Coffeeshop (Lavendar) is located at Lavendar at the back of ICA behind Lavendar MRT station. It is 5 minutes walk away from the famous Tai Wah Minced Pork Noodles (Bak Chor Mee).
When I first stepped into the coffeeshop, it felt as though I had stepped into a time machine and travelled back to the past! 
It is as if time has stood still in this coffeeshop while everything else outside becomes modernise. The white tiles are brown, ceiling fans, no false ceiling, orange coin operated payphone and even abacus! 
This is the 78 year old owner. He is wearing a singlet and old style pyjamas pants which seems out of place in today's context. But this was the way people wore in the past. Most of the customers in the coffeeshop were elderly folks who are reading Chinese newspapers while sipping their coffee. Only the owner's son and I were using smartphones!
Coffee with Butter (Kopi Gu You) $1.10 and Kaya Toast $1.20

Coffee with Butter (Kopi Gu You) $1.10 
I have never tried Kopi Gu You (Coffee with Butter) before. Yes, if you are wondering, it is literally coffee with a thin piece of butter floating on top! The butter would then melt and form a layer of grease on top. Give it a good stir before drinking it. 

Surprisingly, I did not hate this! I was initially worry that it would be greasy/oily. It was not! Taste wise it was rich and complex with a salty caramel taste. Moreover at $1.10, this is so affordable. 
 Kaya Toast $1.20
The Kaya Toast $1.20 was quite well executed too!
 Kaya Toast $1.20
 Interestingly, the owner would use the top of a milk can to scrap off the charred parts of the toast. 
Soft Boiled Eggs $1
I was initially worried the Soft Boiled Eggs would be under or overcooked. Hence, when the Soft Boiled Eggs $1 arrived, I was thrilled that it was cooked perfectly! Do note, the eggs are cooked only upon order. Hence, there is a need to wait around 6 to 8 minutes for this.
At the counter, there are many plastic containers filled with local confectionery (snacks). There was also a orange coin operated payphone which was a common sight in the past! Now, with the high mobilephone penetration rate in Singapore, I cannot even find such phones anymore. Do you spot another item from the past?
Yes, its the abacus!

I can forsee more trips back to this coffeeshop. My breakfast consisting of Coffee with Butter (Kopi Gu You, Kaya Toast and Soft Boiled Eggs cost just $3.30! This is so affordable. Furthermore, it was delicious, what a bonus!

Heap Seng Leong Coffeeshop (Lavendar) 
Blk 10 North Bridge Road, #01-5109
Opening Hours: Daily 4 am to 8 pm

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Friday, 17 July 2015

Marble Slab Creamery: Free Scoop Day (18 Jul 2015)

Marble Slab Creamery
Marble Slab Creamery: Free Scoop Day From 12pm To 3pm (18 Jul 2015)

- Valid on 18 Jul 2015 from 12pm to 3pm
- Free scoop includes a free topping too!
- Valid only at Clarke Quay Central, Junction 8, Kallang Wave Mall and The Star Vista
- While stocks last

Monday, 13 July 2015

Coconut Milk Agar Agar Recipe - Using Agar Agar Strips

Coconut Milk Agar Agar Jelly
Most of us have probably eaten Agar Agar before. Agar Agar is a translucent gelatinous (jelly-like) substance, obtained from algae. In Singapore (also Asia), it is commonly made into a dessert cuisine. Agar Agar comes in several forms; strips or powder form. 

Agar Agar jelly is fairly easy to make so long as you have measured the ingredients and mix them correctly. 

In the past, before the agar agar powder became more popular, agar agar jelly was made using agar agar strips. These agar agar strips are washed and dried before being packed into packages. Using agar agar strips require more time and effort. Today, most people would use agar agar powder as it is easier, simpler and quicker to make the agar agar using powder form.
Agar Agar Strips
My family uses this particular brand of agar agar strip. I had a hard time looking for this particular brand. When searching around for it, several stall owners said they have the powder form and asked if I would like to buy powder form instead. Two persons even told me in Chinese that using the agar agar strips was so troublesome and that they thought only the older generation uses agar agar strips (-_-").
Agar Agar Strips
Note that the packaging indicates the amount of water to add.
Coconut Milk Agar Agar Jelly (note photo was taken on another occasion, hence difference in colour)
I particularly like our own homemade chilled Coconut Milk Agar Agar Jelly which I have been enjoying since young.  The addition of the coconut milk resulted in a two layers. The coconut milk will be at the top layer. This provides an additional dimension (layer) to the taste. This is a very addictive dessert. It is taste best when it is chilled and is a welcome relief in this period of warm weather. The recipe is appended below. Have fun!

Ingredients required:
1) 1 package of agar agar strips (32.5 grams)
2) 4 to 6 Pandan leaves
3) 1.7 litres of water
4) 320 grams of sugar, to taste
5) Red food colouring (optional), to preference
6) 500 ml of Coconut milk

1) Soak the agar agar strips in a pot of water for 30 minutes to soften the strips. After that remove the strips from the water and squeeze the excess water out.
2) While soaking the agar agar strips, wash the pandan leaves and fold them.
3) Place the agar agar strips into a pot filled with 1.7 litres of water.
4) Add the pandan leaves into the pot
5) Heat up the pot and bring it to a boil. Stir and ensure that the agar agar strips have melted completed.
6) Once all the agar agar strips have melted, removed the pandan leaves
7) Add in the sugar and ensure that all the sugar has melted. Taste the mixture and ensure that the sweetness level is to preference. More sugar can be added if its still not sweet enough.
7) At this point the heat should be lowered and the mixture should no longer be boiling.
8) Add in the red food colouring and stir the mixture to ensure that the coloring is properly mixed.
9) Add in the coconut milk slowly. After all the coconut milk has been added, give it a quick stir (i.e. stir it just once - 1 round) and off the heat.
10) Pour the mixture into the molds and allow it to set.
11) After the mixture has cooled, keep the agar agar in the fridge.
12) Chill them until ready to be served.

1) Different brands of agar agar strips have different quantity and the amount of water will differ.
2) The taste of the sweetness changes after the mixture is cooled and chilled.
3) After coconut milk has been added, do not over stir or boil the mixture vigorously. Else, the agar agar would not have two layers.
4) This agar agar jelly tastes best when it is served chilled.
5) If you  agar agar jelly turns out to be too firm (hard) or soft, you will need to twig the water and agar agar strips ratio.

The below pictures show some of the cooking process:
Step 4

Step 5

Step 5

Step 8

Step 9

Step 9

Step 10

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