Tag Archives: Jones the Grocer

Holy moly Ippudo is hands down the best ramen I’ve had

Now I haven’t actually had that much, but I’ve been wanting to go visit Ippudo Singapore (the story here) since I read about it in some random magazine, and finally today got to have an early dinner with D and N. No bookings, small restaurant, all guests at your party need to be present before you can be seated – all recipe for disaster if I’m hungry.

Thankfully we got there bang on 6pm and think we just missed the crowd – by 7 when we left the queue was already 40 people long. Insane. You would think.

Ippudo isn’t exactly the place where you are going to have a relaxed and chilled meal. But then again, you don’t go there for that, you go there for the phenomenal ramen. And gyoza, because we’re greedy.

The stock is burstingly rich with flavour, the noodles are “to order”, soft, medium or hard (we ordered medium which started off a wee bit too hard but by the middle of the dish it was perfect) and it’s now a few hours later and I don’t have that MSG haze or a screaming thirst.

Just fan-bloody-tastic ramen. If you can be bothered getting there super early – otherwise I’d expect to wait maybe 45-60 minutes, or perhaps a late lunch on the weekend ?

Staff are friendly and attentive and efficient – what more could you ask for ?

I also want to explore a bit more of the 4th floor of the Mandarin Gallery – there looked to be some nice cosy little places to have tea, and there’s a Jones the Grocer there, so I don’t have to go all the way to Dempsey now.

Ippudo Singapore

Mondays to Saturdays
11am-11pm
Last order at 10pm

Sundays
11am-10pm
Last order at 9pm

Mandarin Gallery
333A Orchard Road
#04-02/03/04
Singapore 238867
Tel: 6235 6797


chocolate has a temper

Well I think it has, after spending the better part of the weekend attempting to temper chocolate. I had originally had a craving for rocky road after seeing a slab of it the last time we visited Jones the Grocer. Never having attempted tempering chocolate before, I spent Saturday buying the things I needed – the ever reliable Sia Huat for the chocolate thermometer, and Sun Lik for a slab of Swiss dark chocolate (I decided to give the indulgence of Valrhona a skip until I had managed to get tempering right first).

First thing was to convert those damn Fahrenheit temperatures to Celsius which I am just not great at – so I had to write them down to make sure I didn’t have to faff about worrying about that when I was meant to be stirring.

The act of tempering chocolate is based on chemistry, which makes it more than just delicious for me. Chocolate contains cocoa butter, which, when melted can form six types of polymorphs – the ones we want to keep are the Beta of type V, which will result in a glossy coating that doesn’t melt in your fingers and has a nice “snap” when broken. Each crystal form has different melting and cooling temperatures, so by controlling the temperature at which you melt the chocolate and cool it to, you can help the Beta crystals (and not the other five types) to form.

The other really cool thing I learned about part of the tempering process is called “seeding”. This is where, after you have melted the chocolate the first time, you add (or “seed”) in already tempered chocolate, which the molten chocolate will imitate in its form.

The basics of tempering chocolate is to melt the chocolate to 46C, cool it while stirring to 29C and then reheat to 32C, when you can begin working with it to dip food in.

The things that I tried that made it successful were:
1) Don’t break your chocolate up in too small pieces (I still need to figure out why this helps)
2) My seeding chocolate was Lindt 70%, which is perfectly tempered
3) Patience when cooling the chocolate, and stirring constantly while it cools

Apart from that, the two evils of working with chocolate are water, which makes the chocolate seize, and overheating the chocolate (to more than 50C), which burns the chocolate and makes it unworkable.

I’ve got my rocky road setting on the bench (and not in the fridge!) and D cleaning the bowl of melted chocolate. What a lovely way to end the weekend.


I miss a good cafe breakfast on a Sunday morning

D and I used to enjoy a leisurely stroll to our favourite local cafe on a Sunday morning – a prerequisite to where we needed to live was to be no more than five minutes away from a good coffee.  In Darlinghurst, it used to be Tropicana Cafe, a bustling, busy cafe which made the best fried eggs ever, or Ten Buck Alley, which had arguably one of the best baristas (and therefore coffee) in town (with Latteria on Darlinghurst Road being a close contender for best coffee).  When we moved to Chippendale, it was Cafe Guilia where we would spend our Sunday mornings reading the papers.

People move, things change, and Singapore is a hard place to find a good coffee still (we have resorted to a Nespresso machine at home to try to achieve this), but pretty good breakfasts can be found, perhaps not as conveniently around the corner.

Normally we frequent Jones the Grocer up at Dempsey, which, being Australian, and pretty much exactly the same as the Jones’ that we used to go to, makes me happily reminiscent of being back home.

This morning, actually in the hope that we’d get some groceries at the same time, was breakfast at Huber’s at Dempsey.  Coffee, disappointingly weak, but the breakfast was delightful.  It’s a much quieter experience than eating at the packed and bustling Jones, and because it’s a little away from the main cluster of cafes and restaurants at Dempsey, it feels like you’re in a quiet ranch-type retreat, especially surrounded by all that foliage.

Huber’s is first and foremost a butcher and they’ve added a bistro where you can eat outside on the balcony (it’s shady and breezy for those of you like me who dislike eating in the heat), where you can get all the ingredients in your meals, inside.

The breakfast menu is limited, but who can complain when one of them is eggs, fried or scrambled, with bacon, pork sausages and grilled tomato?

The eggs have a deep orange colour (indication of being from happy, free-range hens who have the option of eating pigments found naturally in plants in the wild) and are perfectly cooked – the fried eggs had cooked whites with enough “wobble” in the yolk to dunk your bread, and the scrambled were light and fluffy and not overcooked.

The bacon was thinly sliced and not overly salty, which meant you could actually taste the flavour of the bacon, the tomatoes tasted like, well, tomatoes, and the sausages were lightly herbed pork sausages.  Even the bread we ordered in the bread basket was a light sour dough.  Perfect accompaniment to bring all the ingredients on the plate together.

And when you’re done eating, wander around inside and go nuts with all the wonderful meat they have in there.  We walked away with some spanish jamon and salami for pizzas, and a free-range, hormone-free chicken (I would have liked to be able to get an organic one, but this will have to do, in Singapore, for now).

Well that’s dinner for two nights sorted this week then !

Huber’s Butchery & Bristro @ Dempsey
18A Dempsey Road
Singapore 249677
Tel: 6737 1588