Monday, January 21, 2019

[Review] The Nutcracker (Chinese Version) by The National Ballet of China 中国版 - 胡桃夹子

20.19 Jan 18, a rare and privileged mummy and daughter date on a Friday evening watching our first ever ballet performance together. Excitedly, Vera chose to wear a ballerina outfit when she got to know that she was going to watch a ballet performance - The Nutcracker (Chinese Version) by The National Ballet of China!

The National Ballet of China celebrated its 60th anniversary by bringing this top-class performance with its 65 dancers to Singapore! I read that this performance was highly raved and very well received in Paris! This mersmerizing ballet performance weaved in a mixed element of western ballet and Chinese culture, tells an intriguing story of a Chinese family celebrating Chinese New Year, an adaptation of the Christmas classic, accompanied with the music of Tchaikovsky.

Photo credit: MyChinaChannel

The opening scene was a bustling scene of a temple fair in Beijing of Children running around and adults buying Chinese New Year goods, preparing for the coming Chinese New Year. There was a pair of cousins, Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, playing with a mask of a fairy-tale monster named 'Nian' (年) and their grandfather shared with them the origin of the festival. As the twelve zodiac animals appeared as part of the dancers' costume, Vera started to name them one by one!

On Chinese New Year Eve, Yuan Yuan was gifted a Nutcracker by a foreign friend who visited her grandfather. However, feeling jealous, Tuan Tuan and his friends ganged up and grabbed the nutcracker away from Yuan Yuan.

Photo credit: MyChinaChannel

After the reunion dinnner, Yuan Yuan fell asleep in her bedroom, holding onto the Nutcracker. She entered the world of dreams where this little surpise came! The Nutcracker came alive and tried to save Yuan Yuan by fighting off the 'Nian monsters with the troop of sword-bearing tigers.

The scene where the ballerinas went en pointe, wearing the feathery white costumes coupled with their elegant and graceful movements in unison, as if a flock of cranes were dancing, was my favourite scene! With the falling of white confetti, it made the scene the most captivating of all!

Photo credit: MyChinaChannel

Photo credit: MyChinaChannel

Photo credit: MyChinaChannel

Yuan Yuan then requested to the Queen Crane and got herself transformed into a crane and flew off to the Porcelain Kingdom to be with her beloved nutcracker.

Photo credit: MyChinaChannel

Spectacular sets, asthetically pleasant gorgeous costumes were used with each different scene! In the Porcelain Kingdom filled with amazing things all around!

Photo credit: MyChinaChannel

Symbolizing wealth, the Giant Gold Ingot made its appearance together with the adorable dancers from Singapore!

Photo credit: MyChinaChannel

Photo credit: MyChinaChannel

Nearing the end, Yuan Yuan woke with the Nutcracker tightly hugged in her arms and realised that it was just a dream and decided to share the Nutcracker with Tuan Tuan. The ballet performance ended with a scene a glowing sky with sound effect of fireworks and lited fire crackers as they welcome another beautiful year! 

Photo credit: MyChinaChannel

Overall, it was a spectacular evening and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole performance! I was sure it did spark some interest in Vera, inspiring her to be a ballerina when she told me she would want to dance on stage like the dancers! Thank you for having us, it was a great exposure for Vera! 

About The National Ballet of China

The National Ballet of China was founded in December of 1959 comprising China’s outstanding professional artistes.  A world-renowned ballet company helmed by Feng Ying, a well-known ballerina who is also the Executive & Artistic Director,  The National Ballet of China has performed other world-class classics such as Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Giselle, Carmen, Onegin, The Little Mermaid, and La Bayadère as well as original creations like The Red Detachment of Women, The New Year Sacrifice, Yellow River, Raise the Red Lantern, The Peony Pavilion, The Crane Calling and The Light of Heart.

The company has made great achievements in talent training and stage productions, as well as in ballet promotion and education. Its cohort of ballet dancers, choreographers, musicians and stage artists have also won major international awards, and have collaborated with international stars in their respective fields. The company has a repertoire of more than 200 ballets, several of which are now known as classic Chinese works of art, and have become famous internationally.

About MyChinaChannel
MyChinaChannel (MCC) is a local media company that began operations in 2010, with the express aim of bringing quality Chinese content to the global audience. MCC has established close relationships with state and private media companies in China, including powerhouses CCTV, SMG, and Xiamen Broadcast, in order to seek out the best that the Chinese media market has to offer. Over the next few years, MCC will embark on an expansion of business, including content creation and bringing live shows from China to Southeast Asian countries.

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Disclaimer: We were invited by AT Marketing Consultancy to The Nutcracker for review purpose. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

[Review] CNY Goodies Singapore - CNYDelivery

Two more weeks to CNY! No time to do your CNY goodies shopping, let your fingers do it with - CNY Goodies Singapore​ !

Estb. in 1971, this 老字号 of homemade tidbits and CNY Goodies, Poon Confectionery, is famous for their Muah Chee and Pineapple Tarts! This bakery originated from Pahang and now expanded their business into Singapore. Be assured with great quality with homemade and handmade with the best ingredients and recipes improved over the decades.

This is my selection after browsing through the website, you will see almost all the products with five stars rating!

1. Ong Lai Tarts (Aka Pineapple Tarts) -

I preferred the filling to be more sourish with a melt in the mouth buttery crust. Poon Confectionery's Pineapple Tarts has what I am expecting for the jam! Pretty good and addictive with the buttery soft crust. Do check out their cheese pineapple tarts too!

2. Green Pea Cookies -

This tub was really fragrant after I removed the cover. The cookies were rich and crunchy. Even Don who has a picky mouth says this is good! #MustBuy

3. Salted Egg Lotus Root -

Mild taste of salted egg yolk BUT it somehow tasted like cheese. With every piece of the lotus root thinly sliced, be warned it's ADDICTIVE! I am almost finishing the tub!

4. Pork Floss Roll Snacks -

This is always a favourite, especially among kids. This is a friendlier version as compared to Hae Bee Hiam Rolls (which is spicy). Bite-sized and you can just pop one after another into your mouth. Another tub near to finishing!

5. Nestum Cookies - This will be another hit with kids with its crunchy texture and mildly coated with sugar.

Free tasting is available at:
502 Macpherson Road
Singapore 368204.

Operating hours: 10am to 10 pm

You can place your orders via the following avenue:
whatsapp:  97626523

You can also visit their social media pages for updates:

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Homecooked Ni Tamago (Lava Egg)

It has been quite a while since I blog about homecook food. I am still cooking for the family but probably not that much as compared to the past as there are new commitments to the routine. I remembered the first time I tried and failed over a silly mistake. I was actually laughing over my own mistake for soaking the eggs in boiling water instead of boiling them.

Second time, I asked my sis again how to cook. I remembered she told me that the steps were pretty straight forward. Here are the really simple steps; simply boil the eggs in boiling water for 6 mins, remove them immediately and plunge them into a bowl of ice water for another 6 mins. The low temperature is actually to stop the egg from being cooked further by the heat and soaking in ice water helps to make peeling of the shells much easier.

It was quite a success! Shall try to attempt seasoned eggs when I get my hands on mirin.

If you need some meal ideas and if you are with me on Instagram (Xavvylicious) , I have hashtag what I have cooked in 2018 under #Serenescookbook2018 and this year's #SerenesCookbook2019  .
Hope this is useful !

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Saturday, December 29, 2018

Gu Ma Jia [姑妈家] - Chinese New Year 2019 Reunion Dinner Menu

[Media Invite] 

Gu Ma Jia is award-winning restaurant which bagged awards at Singapore Food Festival for 2 years and at Singapore Food Master Award for another 2 years.

Their creation of delectable home-cooked dishes, are well loved by all as a healthier choice as well based on the founder, Gu Ma's philosophy of no added MSG (Monosodium Glutamate), less salt, less sugar and less oil.

Recently, I was invited for a media food tasting for Gu Ma Jia's Chinese New Year Menu for 2019.  I remembered the settings when I first visited in 2014 and now, the restaurant's upper level had a revamp, so much brighter, simple and chic! There is a new addition, the bar counter, to allow patrons to chill over some drinks while the dining area can be divided into half with the folding doors, perfect for cosy celebrations or even team meetings (there is a projector screen available), follow by a feast.

Now, let me share with you some of the mouth-watering dishes created for CNY 2019. Apart from the usual tasty dishes, you can also place orders in advance for Gu Ma Jia's Roasted Suckling Pig as well as other ala carte dishes. This is still my most favourite dish for Chinese New Year, the Prosperity Yu Sheng was plated with Gui Fei Abalone slices coupled with sauce which is the most important to decide whether if the yu sheng is nice. Its refreshing and zesty yet not overly sweet sauce was totally pleasant to the tastebud! 

Prosperity Yu Sheng (Gui Fei Abalone) - 鸿运发财鱼生 (贵妃鲍)
$40.80 / $50.80

Lobster Cold Platter wowed everyone who was seated around the table with its heavenly and beautiful presentation. Quality is never compromised, this platter was made up of premium quality fresh lobster salad served together with delectable dishes like Smoked Duck, Mixed Sauce Pacific Clams and Gu Ma Beancurd, which was crispy on the outside and with a palatable taste inside. The overall combination for this dish, I gave it a thumbs up!

Lobster Cold Platter [龙虾拼盘], $138 

Smoked Duck slices

Mixed Sauce Pacific Clams

Fish ( 鱼 / ) is one of the lucky dishes to eat during Chinese New Year. It symbolizes that one may have ‘Surplus' more than they need during Chinese New Year. Gu Ma Jia came up with a new creation, Lychee Sweet & Sour Grouper!

Not only the dish was palatable with the tangy, sweet and sour sauce which made it so appetizing, I think the chef must have had the parents in mind when coming up with the creation for this dish. I loved that the fish bones were removed, the fresh and tender fish meat were cubed and wrapped with a coat of crispy skin. It was totally hassle-free to savour this dish. I guarantee, this dish will be well received by the old and young!

Lychee Sweet and Sour Grouper (Market Rate)

On top of the Chinese New Year Dishes, we were also served with Gu Ma Jia's signature dishes. This is another dish which will send diners whipping out their mobile phone to video the flaming ribs when served.

Kyoto Pork Ribs

The exclusive and Award-winning Assam Fish Head is one dish you should never miss when you make your visit. The fresh fish head was totally soaked in the very flavourful gravy, well balanced with the right amount of sourness and spiciness as well as with a generous topping of lady's fingers, egg plants and tomatoes. Intially, I did not want to take any white rice for that evening but it was hard to resist, you have to have a bowl to go with this dish! I tried this dish 4 years ago during a media tasting, 4 years later, it was still so good!

My all time favourite, Claypot Chicken with ginger and sesame oil, perfect for a rainy weather to warm the bodies and this is perfect as confinement food too! Read more about the review here.

Gu Ma Jia's rendition of Butter Milk Salted Egg Crabs, it is finger licking good. The taste, it was ADDICTIVE!

White pepper Crabs using white pepper all the way brought in from Sarawak! I would not say the crabs at Gu Ma Jia is the cheapest but you be assured that the quality of the crabs were fresh and good! One of the contributing factors which made me a returning customer because I know quality will never be compromised.

We were served with a cup of vinegar enzymes, to help with digestion, On top of that, we were also served with a bowl of delicacy which is part of the Chinese New Year Dishes, Double Boiled Peach Gum with Red Dates.

This dessert is nourising to the bodies, I have cooked it before and it was extremely time consuming to prepare, from soaking to picking out the dirt from the peach gums. So elated to have this bowl of goodness!

Double Boiled Peach Gum with Red Dates [冰糖红枣炖桃胶], $32.80 

For more information, you can go to , click here for more information on Chinese New Year 2019 Reunion Dinner

To view the menu. You can call 62852023 to make your booking or email: . 

It is only a month away to Chinese New Year.  Remember to make your reservation earlier as the slots always get taken up fast!  On a side note, Gu Ma Jia does buffet catering and lunch bento boxes services too! 

Location :
Gu Ma Jia Food Pot ( 姑妈家 )
45, Tai Thong Crescent
Senette Estate
Singapore 347886
Tel : 62855602

Getting There:
By train : Nearest MRT is Potong Pasir
By buses : 8, 61, 64, 65, 66, 90, 125, 151, 154  
By car : Free parking after 5pm but it does seem a little challenging to find a parking lot during the peak hours. However, there are parking lots available outside the private houses. 

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on : 

Disclaimer: We were invited by AT Marketing Consultancy for food tasting session at 姑妈家 (Gu Ma Jia). No monetary compensation is involved. All opinions are of my own.

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