Archive for the ‘3.3 Shops’ Category

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ToTT Cooking Class– Knack with Knives

The other day, I chanced upon a contest on ToTT (Tools of the Trade)’s Facebook. In order to win a free “Knack with Knives” class, all one had to do was to write about a close shave with knives and lessons learnt. I thought, hey I can do that, so I entered the contest. Bam, done in less than 5 minutes. And guess what, my efforts paid off and I got a golden ticket worth 98 bucks!!!

Photos all taken with the iPhone since I figured wielding a knife together with my trusty DSLR would be a tad cumbersome…

Tools of the Trade - Knack with Knives cooking class (5)

The knife in the picture is what is known as a Chef’s Knife. This is the knife that will be used for most of your slicing activities. Another knife I would highly recommend buying is the serrated knife. It has a ridged blade to cut through food with skin such as bread. We never used to have a serrated knife in our kitchen, but during the period when I was fervently baking lots of bread, we bought a serrated knife as it was a pain to cut the bread with the chef’s knife. I usually ended up flattening the bread because a normal chef’s knife just wouldn’t slice through the tough skin!

Tools of the Trade - Knack with Knives cooking class (9)

Chop chop chop, dice dice dice. There is a nifty way to cut onions such that you won’t cry. Chop off the top, chop the onion in half, then kind of flay it without cutting through the bottom. The bottom still holds all the pieces in tact, which then makes it easier for u to dice the onion. According to Chef Ming, the bottom holds the highest amount of tear causing chemicals, so only cut that off last.

Tools of the Trade - Knack with Knives cooking class (7)

Tomato condiments for the bruschetta we were making – onions, tomatoes, basil, garlic

Tools of the Trade - Knack with Knives cooking class (8)

With a serrated knife, you can slice up the bread really thinly.

Tools of the Trade - Knack with Knives cooking class (10)

Voila, the finished product!

Tools of the Trade - Knack with Knives cooking class (6)

Chef Ming from Jam explaining the ins and outs of using knives.

Tools of the Trade - Knack with Knives cooking class (11)

Chef Jeremy from Jam slicing and dicing

Tools of the Trade - Knack with Knives cooking class (2)

Other participants. Btw, I really want to get myself one of those wooden island trolley thingies. It’s so convenient to be able to chop wet food near the sink or dustbin, and after that wheel it to the cooking stove. Anything that cuts down preparation time for me is fantastic.

Tools of the Trade - Knack with Knives cooking class

Coffee and tea for the participants. Not that you have time to drink it once the cooking gets fired up.

The class was totally worth my having to wake up at 8.30am! I really enjoyed myself very much. Although I still feel that $98 is very steep a price to pay for a 2 hour hands-on class, unfortunately cooking classes, especially hands-on ones, are pricey. The affordable ones which are less than $50, held at the Community Centres, tend not be hands-on. If you have spare dough and have entertained the idea that you might like to learn cooking, I would highly recommend doing it. Just take at least 1 class to get your adrenalin pumping. After that, you can rely on cook books if you are self-motivated. I assure you the dividends will pay off when you enjoy the fruits of your labour in time to come.

As a proof of how much I enjoyed the class, I went back home and diced up all my asparagus, mushrooms, onions and garlic for dinner. This would normally have been done by the Partner, while I disappear somewhere and pretend to be busy.

See my previous review on the Tools of The Trade Store as well as the ToTT Bistro.

ToTT Store

896 Dunearn Road 01-01A
Singapore 589472
Store Operating Hours:
Mon -Sun: 10.30am – 9.30pm
Tel: 62197077

http://www.tottstore.com

http://www.oooh-jam.com

ToTT Store (Tools of the Trade) – Review

So I did make it to ToTT over the weekend. It was mighty cavernous I must say. It was so spacious as compared to the Sia Huat Store in Chinatown. Everything was laid out nicely and neatly shelf after shelf, complete with name labels and prices.

I was hoping to find a Pantry Magic lookalike but on a larger scale, but it was not to be. There was very little cutesy, colourful spatulas, spoons, bowls, baking moulds and stuff. The things are also not cheap, so it’s not like an outing to Ikea where you can just indulge in buying items you know you’re probably never going to use. It’s still basically what Sia Huat sells at Chinatown except it looks a bit more sophisticated. The place would be great for business owners who want to find kitchen equipment such as a huge rice cooker to cook rice for 100 people. But if you ever require any particular kitchen equipment or cookware, your best bet is still to go to Sia Huat, but it would be a very utilitarian looking version of it. I don’t think they have that many cookbooks for sale either. If it’s cookbooks you’re after, you’re best going off to Borders, MPH or Kinokuniya.

ToTT’s still worth a visit though, especially if you live around the area. For one, they have this really interesting concept where you buy some cookie dough, decorate it and bake it there and then in the special kitchen. I was there and overheard the kids commenting on just how strange it was to be doing baking there.

Then there’s also the cooking studio, and the Bistro. We had lunch at the Bistro while we were there. Prices were pretty affordable. The Bistro looks like the Ikea canteen, but let’s just say that I don’t think Ikea will be fretting over lost business in the cooked food department. 

ToTT - Salmon

Baked Salmon – So So.

ToTT - Baked Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

 Baked Chicken – The chicken was quite nice, even if a little dry. They were also very generous with the mushrooms in the mushroom sauce. I liked the amount of raisin put within the coleslaw, and I liked the crunch of the slaw.

ToTT - Egg drop soup with Quail Egg

 Egg Drop Soup with Quail Egg – This was definitely a let down. Even the staff knew that and were recommending the mushroom soup. There was a surprise hardboiled quail’s egg in the soup so that was a nice touch. And they certainly are generous with the seaweed too.

ToTT - Mushroom Soup

Mushroom Soup – This was very nice for a $2.50 soup. It was creamy and thick. Only issue, it was not hot, but I suppose that boils down to teething problems at all new places.

You can order these under the ala carte menu, or you can get the set menu where you choose a mains, soup and free flow soft-drink. You can only choose soft drinks if you take the set menu, which we thought was a bit dumb. We wanted coffee, and coffee is $1, while soft drink is $1.50. Go figure.

ToTT Store

896 Dunearn Road 01-01A
Singapore 589472
Store Operating Hours:
Mon -Sun: 10.30am – 9.30pm
Tel: 62197077

http://www.tottstore.com

http://www.tottstore.com/files/Bistro_menu.pdf

Zenxin Organic Store and where to spend your Halloween

We were in the Pasir Panjang area today so we decided to stop by Zenxin Organic Store. They were having a sale so I went wild at the organic flour section. I’d previously tried to make my own pasta twice, and failed spectacularly twice. I blame the disasters on the flour used. Today, Zenxin was selling Organic Durum Wheat Flour at only $4/kg and Organic Wheat Flour at $3.90/kg. Bought 3 packs in total, and I would have bought more if they’d had Organic oat flour on stock too.

There was a huge pumpkin on display, in anticipation of their Halloween Party on October 30th. It’s going to be great fun because there will be cooking demonstrations, free tastings, pumpkin carving and Guess the weight of the giant pumpkin contest! I was there last year and it was great! And most likely, things are going to be on discount too. YAY! Get your chilly bins ready so you can stock up on all those organic fruits, vegetables and milk! Zenxin’s my favourite organic store because it’s the cheapest!

Speaking of Halloween celebrations, the Asian Civilizations Museum at Empress Place will be organizing a Fright Night on the 30th of October too. Free beer, ice cream, scary movie, spooky makeover plus supernatural guided tour of the museum. Museum will be open till 1 am!!

image And if that’s not enough, there’s also the Halloween of Horrors at the Night Safari. It’s going on the entire month of October, and this is if I’m not wrong their 3rd or 4th year already. The whole Night Safari is decked out in Halloween themed decorations, and they have people dressing up as spooks to come disturb you. I really like the Train of Horrors last year and I’m going again this year.

ToTT Store (Tools of the Trade)

UPDATE: I’ve since been to the ToTT Store. Read all about it here.

~~~

I just read about this huge kitchenware store opening for business in Singapore today. I’m so excited!!! I’ve always felt that we lack a 1-stop-shop where we can get all the kitchenware we want. Sure Pantry Magic does fill the gap somewhat, but as much as I love browsing there, it’s a pretty small store. Ikea has a larger range, but the quality is questionable. I find it highly suspect that a frying pan can cost $5. What materials went into making it, and how long can it last? As we speak, my 2 year old Ikea chair is on the verge of collapsing any day now.

ToTT is owned by Sia Huat, which has a store in Chinatown. Coincidentally, I made my 1st visit to the Chinatown Sia Huat only just last week. It was quite an experience. Because they sell to businesses as well, they also stock industrial sized kitchenware. It was quite funny to be inspecting pots so huge you could stand in them. Most of the stuff at the Chinatown branch is pretty spartan though. I’m hoping that the ToTT store will have all the things that I see so often in Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver and Curtis Stone’s cooking shows. I might even spend $150 there and get myself a membership card!

Apart from the store, ToTT also runs cooking classes, a bake it on the spot section where you can buy and bake the cookie dough without even having to go home, and a bistro. It’s going to be great. This weekend they are having a 10% promotion going on, so I’m going to try and make it there.

image Durian Tempura served at their Bistro

 

ToTT Store

896 Dunearn Road 01-01A
Singapore 589472
Store Operating Hours:
Mon -Sun: 10.30am – 9.30pm
Tel: 62197077

http://www.tottstore.com

http://www.tottstore.com/files/Bistro_menu.pdf

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