mardi, septembre 01, 2009

Coriander Leaf - Vietnamese and Singapore Cooking Classes


Making peanut sauce

Coriander Leaf
is an award-winning New Asian Restaurant and Cooking School situated in Clarke Quay, Singapore. In July this year, I attended 2 cooking demonstrations at the school : 1) Vietnamese Flavours and 2) Streets of Singapore.

The Demo Kitchen

I have been cooking Vietnamese and Singaporean for a number of years now though I have never been taught how to do it. I wanted to attend a class to make sure that I've been doing it right. Plus it is always interesting discovering how other cooks work and learning something new from them. Though I have always said that cooking is a personal art and general science and that there is no one way to do any given dish.

Grilled Shrimp on Sugar Cane

Grilled Beef and Chicken

Ginger Chicken with Caramel Sauce (my version is usually darker)

After attending both classes, I can safely say that I know how to prepare both cuisines. And I would still prefer to do certain dishes the way I've always done them.

Steamed Sea Bass with Soy, Ginger and Scallions

Spicy Lemongrass Tofu

Starfruit and Lychees in Ginger Wine

The kitchen was airy and there was room for everyone to sit around the demo hub. We were served ice water and a hot drink upon arrival and given a recipe booklet and a pencil. I much prefer this class to the one I attended at Shermay's last year for the simple reason that we were not crowded and for the same price also got to taste everything that had been prepared.

Meat Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Tauhu Telor

Something though was missing from the classes e.g. a bit of culture and history. I like to know how a certain dish came to be, why it was created in the North or Centre or the South, what are its main ingredients and how they may be substituted, how they compare to similar dishes elsewhere etc. I am interested in learning more about cooking techniques and very much enjoy anecdotes about the dishes which Samia Ahad (Celebrity Chef and Pakistani owner of the restaurant) did sometimes provide.

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Most of the clients were tourists or expats, with the occasional one or 2 Singaporeans thrown in. And most of them sounded like the debutant or occasional cook.

Singapore/Hong Kong Fried Rice Noodles

Each class contained between 6 to 8 dishes including a simple dessert. She had 2 assistants help her prepare the raw ingredients and from time to time they would get a scolding for not getting the measurements right :-).

Singapore Chilli Crab and its winning Harissa-Tomato Chutney version

I would still prefer a hands-on cooking class or at least a half hands-on half demo one like @ Sunrice. One of these days maybe I'll have the chance to attend a semi-professional cooking course - especially to work on the techniques from food preparation (I am very bad at peeling or chopping anything) to the actual cooking. Until then, these once-off cooking lessons were a good way to spend time and even better when spent with a friend or spouse. Meanwhile, Samia Ahad also owns Screening Room which seems like a really cool place where you could chill out, eat and catch a good movie.

Clarke Quay, Singapore

7 commentaires:

rinaz a dit…

Just wondering, was it tough for you to find Asian herbs and spices where you are?

Beau Lotus a dit…

Very difficult. I import from Singapore or Paris when I go there and then freeze what I can.

When the lemongrass etc is finished, I'll just make curries as I can mix my own powder.

One Wheel a dit…

Wow, what a spread, didnt know cooking demo can have so much to eat :)

Pris a dit…

Hey Serene! Great to see that you had such an awesome time back in Singapore, Penang etc... LOVE the food! Makes me sooooo hungry. Look forward to reading more of what you did!

Big Boys Oven a dit…

oh you miss us! :)

Beau Lotus a dit…

Eh, BBO, and how did that happen? :)

Anonyme a dit…

A good story

GK Chesterton: “The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

Voila: www.tastingtoeternity.com. This book is a poetic view of 30 of the best loved French cheeses with an additional two odes to cheese. Recipes, wine pairing, three short stories and an educational section complete the book.

From a hectic life in New York City to the peace and glories of the French countryside lead me to be the co-founder of www.fromages.com. Ten years later with the words of Pierre Androuet hammering on my brain:

“Cheese is the soul of the soil. It is the purest and most romantic link between humans and the earth.”

I took pen and paper; many reams later with the midnight oil burning Tasting to Eternity was born and self published.

I believe cheese and wine lovers should be told about this publication.

Enjoy