Archive for June 13th, 2010

Rotten Eggs and what you can learn from them

Ever since I decided to go all out to revive this blog, I haven’t been baking that much. Any spare time is used to think of what to write next instead of what to bake next. I have to find a way to include baking into my life again. At one point in time, I was even baking bread almost everyday. Granted I used the bread machine, but effort and time is still needed. Let’s see if I can bake and blog at the same time.

After perusing so many people’s blogs, I noticed that my favourite bloggers love to eat brunch! When I see pictures of scrambled eggs, or for that matter any breakfast food (except oats!) I feel like immediately making a reservation at the cafe featured. With the proliferation of cafes serving all sorts of breakfast options, breakfast has finally ascended the throne and is to be accorded the same respect as lunch and dinner! As much as I like the idea of having brunch, I actually haven’t dined at any of the major places renown for their brunch dishes, save except Cedele. In the upcoming posts, I shall make a list of the best brunch places in Singapore and where to find Singapore’s best brunch deals. Brunch Sunday, Brunch Saturday, brunch everyday!

I wasn’t keen on getting out of the house early today to go for brunch either (the England match was at 2.30am…) so I decided to cook my own omelette on toast. Today, I learnt new things about eggs.

The 1st thing I learnt was that if you crack an egg and flecks of cheese looking things come out, the egg is rotten. If the flecks don’t alarm you enough, the sulphuric gases hitting your nose 3 seconds later will certainly confirm that the egg is indeed rotten. Throw the egg away.

The 2nd thing I learnt was that if your eggs are already several weeks old (and very near being in the rotten stage), have 2 bowls when cracking eggs. First you crack the egg into the testing bowl. If it is fine, you may put that egg into the big bowl. Repeat again for all other eggs. My 1st egg was fine, until I cracked the 2nd egg which was the rotten egg into the same bowl. And then I had to throw away both eggs instead of just the rotten egg.

The 3rd lesson is probably that I should stock up on fresher eggs but since I hardly cook, I feel bad if I periodically throw otherwise good eggs away. So when it comes to eggs, I am never sure if mine are not rotten. The Partner once told me that I would be able to spot a rotten egg a mile away, and indeed I realise how today. And I have been faithfully using this “rule” to guide me on whether the eggs are safe to eat.

So……….. I continued to make my omelette. Yes using one of the last few remaining eggs from the same batch….. maybe less desperate people would not have done this. But then again, I happen to have a really strong stomach. So readers, you are not advised to do this at home.

The next egg was fine, so maybe the last one was really the only rotten egg. And I proceeded to make a 1 egg omelette with parmesan cheese, pepper and salt. The egg fried up beautifully. It was the most beautiful omelette I have ever cooked. It was so fluffy and just the right golden brown. It was a wonderful breakfast.

And the 4th and final lesson I learnt? Put lots and lots of oil and your egg will puff up like you’ve never seen, and that’s why food is uglier and less tasty when cooked at home because we are just not willing to put that much oil and salt!

Black Earth Restaurant and Wine

The elusive Black Earth Restaurant. It is true what other bloggers say, this place doesn’t have a big sign board at all, and you could very easily walk past or drive past it without noticing its existence.

Black Earth front door

It’s easy enough to come here. It’s along Joo Chiat road, and if you’re taking the bus, the bus stop is just a few shops away. And if you’re driving, there is a car park right beside it, since Black Earth Cafe takes up the corner unit. While Joo Chiat is famous for the variety of local food available here, Joo Chiat is not really known for its western restaurants, mainly because people don’t really know that there are western restaurants here. But I see in the last year or so, several new western eateries have sprung up, such as Black Earth, Obolo and Everything with Fries. It is quite nice to walk down Joo Chiat street, marvelling at the old architecture and savouring the old and new.

Back to Black Earth Restaurant. I really like it’s black and white decor. Makes the place look so European. Black Earth Cafe serves mainly western dishes. They had a set lunch going on, even for a Weekend. For between $12.90 to $18.90, you get a soup of the day, a main course of your choice, and dessert of the day. There were 4 choices for the main course:-

  • Poached chicken roulade served with assorted vegetables and mango sauce – $12.90
  • Poached Snapper fillet served with assorted vegetables and dill lime sauce – $15.90
  • Sirloin Steak with Salsa served with Assorted Vegetables and Honey Mustard Sauce – $17.90
  • Pan-seared Lamb Rack with Salsa served with assorted vegetables and mint vinaigrette sauce– $18.90

The set lunch is really worth it because ordering the same dish from the normal menu can be even more expensive. For example, the poached chicken usually costs $14.90.

The partner tried the Pan-seared Lamb Rack, while I tore my eyes away from the set menu and chose Chicken Chop instead. For some reason, I had a craving for not just chicken, but specifically chicken chop.

Black Earth Cafe (3)

Black Earth Seating

Interior of the Black Earth Cafe with French music playing in the background. The place looks posh but the prices are very affordable.

Black Earth Snacks Menu
Their snacks menu offers some pretty interesting food over the mundane. The bacon wrapped with pork sausages, smoked salmon roulade and breaded scallop sounds good. Maybe next time.

Black Earth Garlic Bread slices

4 generous slices of garlic bread to accompany the soup! It was lovely to be able to indulge in 2 slices each.

Black Earth Tomato Soup with fresh diced tomatoes

Tomato soup. This is the first place we have tried that includes bits of fresh tomatoes in the soup. A simple yet delicious touch.

Black Earth Chicken Chop

The Chicken Chop on an asparagus, capsicum, pickle and sliced potato bed. They certainly aren’t stingy with the sauce. I wonder if they are French inspired. The chicken was very flavourful but just a tad too tough. The vegetables were done very nicely and al dente.

Black Earth Lamb Chop

The lamb chop was also served on a the asparagus, capsicum, pickle and sliced potato bed. It was fantastic, only wish there were more pieces! We really loved the mint sauce and the generous amount given. Non-mint lovers may want to ask for less of it.

Black Earth strawberry ice cream

Dessert of strawberry ice cream laced with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles plus a slice of cake. Visually, it looked a bit kiddish. The whipped cream also came from a can instead of being freshly prepared by the chef. Well I suppose this is better than 2 slices of watermelon?

Black Earth ice water and coca cola

Coke to quench the midday heat

Black Earth alfresco 2nd floor

Black Earth Cafe also has a 2nd floor for alfresco dining.

Black Earth alfresco dining 2nd floor

Obviously there is nobody in the afternoon, but come evening, it would be a lovely place to sit back and sip an alcoholic drink, watching the world go by.

Black Earth 2nd floor private room

It seems they have auction events on selected days. You can book this 2nd floor room for $150 an hour or guarantee $1500 worth of food and drink. This would be an interesting place to have a wedding solemnisation or a private birthday party?

Black Earth alfresco seating along 1st floor corridor

More al-fresco seating along the walkway downstairs. I can just imagine sitting here with a cold drink watching the world go by.

Black Earth Restaurant & Wine

367 Joo Chiat Road

Singapore 427612

11.30 – 2.30 lunch

6.00 – 10.00 dinner

Closed on Mondays

Tel: 6346-4558

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