Sunday, December 16, 2012

Bo Innovation - Molecular Gastronomy

Prologue: Had always wanted to try out this restaurant ever since I saw the review on TV, but didn't have the chance until my visit to Hong Kong this year. Even then, we were quite close to having to give it a miss again (we rescheduled our booking three times) due to scheduling issues or having to find someone to babysit the kiddo. In the end, we did manage to visit the place and the experience was well worth it!

I'm sure many people would not be familiar with the terms "X-treme Chinese Cuisine" and "Molecular Gastronomy", and these are the 2 terms which give this restaurant its unique experience. Bo Innovation is a fine dining restaurant located in Wan Chai, Hong Kong that serves visually surprising Chinese Cuisine infused with a western flavor. The restaurant was invited for Savour 2012 held in Singapore, and I understand that they were invited again and will be participating in Savour 2013.

The term "X-treme Chinese Cuisine" is coined by its Executive Chef Alvin Leung, essentially to give a very new meaning to what Chinese food should look and taste like , while the term "Molecular Gastronomy" is defined in Wikipedia  as "a subdiscipline of food science that seeks to investigate, explain and make practical use of the physical and chemical transformations of ingredients that occur while cooking, as well as the social, artistic and technical components of culinary and gastronomic phenomena in general" [Source: Wikipedia]. Basically, my interpretation is this, you take a dish and cook it in a very different way, resulting in either (1) the resulting dish tasting very much like how it should be, but visually looking very different. or (2) resulting dish looking at a totally different dish, like watermelon caviar. in fact, the Lao Ban soy beancurd, and its countless clones, is likely the result of a "Molecular Gastronomy" experience

This is where the creativeness of Chef Alvin comes in - not only is he able to blend in a level of western influence into our everyday Chinese food, he then transform this food into a visually appealing treat. The result is something of what you see, what your perceived to taste, is not what it tasted a good way..

The Setting

Table for 2

Once you select one out of the three available set menus, a small leaflet will be given to you to refresh you on the dishes on the set.

A 13 Course Dinner. 

The restaurant's logo, which means "Devil Chef" in Chinese. The Executive Chef
calls himself the "Devil Chef" and has these words tattooed on his right arm. 

 The Food

For dinner, there are three set menus- a HKD$888 Tasting Menu consisting of a few appetizer sized items and a choice of a main course, a HKD$1388 Chef Menu which is essential a degustation menu, and a HKD$1888 Chef Table Menu which is the Chef Menu with 2 additional items. Within each set menu, there are additional dishes which you can supplement the selected menu at an additional cost. There is also an option to pair the dishes with wines selected by the wine sommelier at an additional cost of HKD$700. We choose the Chef Table Menu without the wine pairing.

Rather than giving you bread rolls, the chef decides to serve up Hong Kong Egg Waffle,
a snack commonly found on the streets of Hong Kong.
The difference in this - It has Ibérico Ham wrapped in it.

Oyster - Spring Onion, Lime, Ginger Snow, "Xiaoshing" Seaweed Jelly.
Spring onion, lime, ginger and Chinese Shao-xing wine are the common ingredients used
to steam fresh fish. The concept is to use these ingredients to cover the fishy smell.
Based on this concept, these ingredients have been given a makeover and used to accompany
a piece of fresh oyster. The spring onion and lime has been "caramelized" while the ginger
has been deep freeze until it becomes powdery. The seaweed jelly below the oyster readily
absorbs the oyster's juices and the ingredients, giving you a 2nd round of indulgence after eating
the oyster.

Cavair - Smoked Quail Egg, Crispy Taro
This should be the interpretation of the Fried Taro Dim Sum (芋角), which usually has fillings
of dice mushrooms, shrimp and pork and gives a taste of crispy outside and mashy inside. This
is how this dish taste, especially since the smoked egg gives that mashy texture.  The caviar enhances
the overall experience, bring a right balance of saltiness. 

Saba - Sesame, Ponzu Cloud, Ginger, Parfum de Hong Kong
Saba sashimi covered with a cloudy ponzu foam and what I tasted to be rose smell (the 'Parfum').
Can't really figure out the inspiration for this but its tasty nonetheless.

Setting for the next dish

Hairy Crab - Aged Chinkiang Vinegar
Its still the season for hairy crabs (大闸蟹) which explains why this dish is here. Hairy crab roe made in a smooth soufflé and after you scope out a bit of it, you can pour aged black vinegar inside, which is the common condiment to accompany hairy crabs. The resultant taste is like eating a foamy hairy crab without getting your hands dirty.
Bamboo - Bamboo Shoot, Foie Gras, 'Zhou Ye Qing" Liquor Miso, Pickled Indian Lettuce Stem
One of the Chinese dish is to stir fry bamboo shoots with meats, which provides a fine blend of crunchy bamboo shoots against the soft texture of meat. This should be what this dish aims to achieve, but rather than stir-frying, its done via steaming and pan-frying to retain the taste. What other meat is more softer than Foie Gras?

Tomato - Pat Chu Vinegar, Fermented Chinese Olives, "Lam Lok"

Molecular - Xiao Long Bao
The star dish of the restaurant, which was showcased in Savour 2012. Yup, this is really a Xiao Long doesn't look
like one but it tastes exactly like one, a very tasty one that is, including the flowing soup upon first bite. Basically its a very rich pork stock wrapped in a crystal skin, and they managed to freeze dry the red vinegar and ginger condiments into the thin red strip you see at the top.

Saga-Gyu Beef - Truffled Tendon, Daikon, Chinese Chive, Aromatic Consomme
Chef's interpretation of beef brisket hor-fun (牛腩河粉) - very rich and yummy stock accompanied by Wagyu beef and hor fun made from top quality floor.

Organic "Long Jiang" Chicken
Chef's interpretation of chicken rice, or more specifically, this version of chicken rice inspired from this stall called Long Jiang Chicken.  Clay pot containing organic chicken accompanied with 7 years aged acquerello rice cooked in a yellow chicken stock, topped with mushrooms and served with pure sand ginger sauce as the condiments.

The clay pot above serves 2.
Chinese almonds and cherry berry compote. Should be inspired from Almond Tofu.

Ying Yang
This is a very interesting interpretation of the famous Hong Kong drink call Ying Yang,
which normally is a mixture of coffee and tea. For this, the Chef serves the drink
with hot coffee (the darker color you see on the left) and cold milk tea (lighter
color on right). You can taste the distinct sensation of hot and cold on both sides
of your tongue when you take a sip. 

Shui Jing Fang
This dish contains a deep fried milk batter served with a banana form dipping. Can't help
wonder if he got the inspiration from goreng pisang

The end of the course with 8 petit dim-sum.

I would say that this was a very enjoyable meal and the restaurant is definitely worth a visit, just to enjoy the experience and feel the creativeness of the Chef.

Bo Innovation
Shop 13, 2/F, J Residence, 60 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
(852) 28508371

Saturday, November 10, 2012

IncarcerApp - The Iphone / Ipad App for Parents to Lock Home Button

Most parents I know nowadays allow their kids as young as 12 months old to play with their iPad or iPhone. Kids are very fascinated with these tech devices and most of them are able to figure out how to use them at a very young age. Now the problem that most parents I talk to face when their kids use the iPad or iPhone is this.......

The Home Button!

For some reasons, kids are fascinated with this little button at the bottom of the iPad or iPhone, which exits them out of whatever application you have opened for them and into the home screen. The next thing that happens will be the kid asking the parent to go back to that application there were enjoying, usually accompanied by shouts and cries.... and the cycle goes on and on.

There is an app that allows you to disable the home screen, called "IncarcerApp". What the app does is that it allows you to disable and enable the Home button function via a pre-defined combination of keys. (for e.g. double tap home, triple tap home, volume + follow by volume -, etc). Once this series of key presses is registered, the app will disable the functionality of the Home button. 

Main settings page of IncarcerApp

Settings to indicate which key combination to disable home button.

Once the key combination is pressed, an indication will flash for a
while stating that the home button is disabled

Another key combination will re-enable the home button function.
Do note that IncarcerApp is not available from the App store, but via Cydia. This means that you will have to Jailbreak your iPad / iPhone before you are able to install this app.

Installation instructions are available here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Seeking Renovation Ideas

Things have been moving quite smoothly after my last blog post on our journey to a new home. We have already met our appointed lawyer to accept the option to purchase and had put in our application for a bank loan with approval in principle. We are currently estimating to complete all transactions and for the current owners to hand over the keys to us by mid-Dec (total of 8 weeks).

The next thing we will be dwelling into will be the home renovations. My wife and I quite like the current layout done by the owner, especially the European feel which is quite different from common modern contemporary feel of most houses today. However, some renovations needs to be done to the kitchen and bathroom, which were left the way they were since it was first built.

Original Kitchen

Original Guest Toilet
Our main theme of the renovation will be based on a modern Greek-styled theme - by this we mean using a very bold (aka unconventional) colour combination of light blue and white. Our intention is to paint the top half of the living room walls and the master bed room walls, as well as all bedroom doors and window grilles in a light blue color. For the renovation, I will be getting one of my friend of over 20 years, Keith Wu, who is an architect to do the design and renovation for us. Keith just came back to Singapore after spending quite a number of years in Netherlands, Hong Kong and Beijing. He now co-owns a local architect / designer firm called Materium. The firm had recently came in third for the Bukit Panjang Hawker Center Architectural Competition.

While we fully trust Keith and his team to design and construct the perfect dream home for us, we thought that it will also be a good idea if we could get some renovation ideas from our friends, especially those who have also gone through their own house renovations. We are not only looking at ideas on how to renovate the house based on our desired theme, but also looking at small nuggets like innovative ways to hide cables, wiring and piping, selection of shower heads, taps, selection of air-conitioner brands, lighting, etc. Basically any tips that you guys / gals can share from the experience with your home renovation. Some of the ideas we have so far are below.

Living Room

Living Room

For the living room, the top half of the wall, currently in light orange, will be painted light blue, like the roofs you find in houses in Greece. The brick walls will be painted white and the internal side of the window grilles will be painted blue as well. The center light fitting will most probably be removed and replaced with a ceiling fan to allow for air circulation.


We really like the fireplace that the previous owner has built, however, we also wished to have a television placed in the living room. Thus we are looking at reducing the height of the fireplace, removing the current mounted art piece and replacing it with a LCD TV. The background color will like be painted blue to match with the overall theme of the house. 


For the master bed room, we will remove the bathtub (not much use for a bathtub in Singapore anyway) and replaced with an enclosed shower with a rain-shower head. The overall layout we are looking is similarly to what is below, but maybe with a color combination that matches more with our theme


We are looking at hacking down the wall between the kitchen and the small storeroom next to it to create a bigger space and create an open kitchen concept. The wall tiles and kitchen cabinets we looking at is something like below.

These are the  main ideas we have so far, if you have any ideas that you would like to contribute, do drop me a mail or leave a comment below.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Buying a New Property - Tips For Buyers

This article is an Annex to this the post - The Journey to New Home. Just sharing some tips I learnt from my house hunting experience.

1. When buying the 2nd property, you can only borrow up to 60% bank loan if you are currently paying the loan for your 1st property. If the 1st property is fully paid, you can borrow up to 80% bank loan. Thus, if you have capacity, will suggest you pay off the loan of the 1st property before getting the 2nd.

2. To use the CPF money to pay off the downpayment for 2nd property, as well as future loans. You must set aside 1/2 of the minimum sum in the CPF based on the current rate. The rate for 2012 is 1/2 of $139k (i.e. $69.5k) and this amount it set to increase every year. This minimum sum you have is first calculated from your retirement account + investments made your your retirement account, before the rest needs to be topped up by your ordinary account. Any money beyond this in your ordinary account can be used towards your home payment.

3. Home loans usually have a lock in rate of 3 to 5 years for most banks, subsequently, you are free to get refinance with another bank, or renegotiate with your banker for better rates. Its quite hard to work out exactly how much you need to pay in total, as the interest rates fluctuates based on market conditions, as well as if there was any bank loan promotions the bank is offering at that very time. The interest rates can be either on a fixed interest rate, or a variable interest rate based on SIBOR. I would suggest you ask around all the banks for both their fixed and interest rates and do a comparison. While the variable interest rates looks more attractive, when you really do the maths, you will find that the fixed rate actually differs within the first 3 years by about a few thousands only. I would thus suggest that to take the fixed rate loans rather than the variable rates loan so that you have a more confirmed total sum you need to pay for 3 years. Variable rates, though stagnant based on past trends in SIBOR, is more likely to go up rather than down. A good loan calculator is available as an downloadable excel sheet here

4. When calculating your sums / cashflow available, you must always take into consideration this component call the Stamp Duty. The stamp duty is based on the value of your property or the selling price, whichever is higher and is charged at $1.00 per $100 for the first $180k, $2 per $100 for the next $180k and $3 per $100 for the remainder (Quick formula is property times 3% then minus of $5400). As such, you can see that it will eventually work out to be quite a substantial sum as the price you pay goes higher. There are also additional stamp duties if you happen to be a non Singapore Citizen, or you are purchasing your 3rd property. Because of the way the stamp duty deadline is structure, you will end up in a situation that the stamp duty can only be paid in cash first. There is no installment payment for it.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Journey to a New Home

Ever since the birth of Harrod, our first kid, my wife and I started to have the intention to move to a bigger unit. The reason was that we felt that we needed a bigger place to house our growing family, and we wanted kiddo (and ourselves) to have enjoy some condo facilities like the pool. Furthermore, when we bought the current flat, there was already then a plan to look for a place after five years.

While the intention was there, we didn't really go about hunting for a new place until a few months ago, when my wife suddenly reminded me of our intention. We then realised that kiddo has grown up quite a fair bit and it was really time to think about getting a new place, especially since it was also our intention is to have another kid soon so that the age gap between the two were not too great.

The Initial Stage

Our first property was bought over from my in-laws so it was quite a non-event and not much research needs to be done then -  I only remember getting someone to valuate the house, then go HDB listen to the property officer explain the terms and conditions, which till now I have no clue what he was saying, then sign the documents, pay the fire insurance and then next thing I know, we own the place leow. So this time round, you can say that we are sort of virgin buyers. Over the next few weeks, we started to engage a few agents to help us look for a place. Our initial criteria were as such

- 4 Bedrooms.
- High Floor
- Non facing west for Living and Master Bedroom
- Quiet Block (meaning away from main roads, mrt tracks etc)
- East
- New or upcoming development
- Free Hold
- Not too ulu

After viewing the first few units, Bedok Residences, Flamingo Valley, Vacenza and the Water Front series at Bedok Reservoir, of which all of them were show flats and under construction. We realized that the last 2 criteria are quite mutually exclusive - if you want a free hold, it will most likely be at a ulu location, and if you want a place there is not too ulu, it will likely not be freehold. We also realized that a new or upcoming development is not suitable for us as most of them will TOP in 2014-2015, which will be too late for us. Thus we took off the free hold and upcoming development out of our criteria. We also realized that to get the maximum bank loan, we have to pay off our existing HDB loan first (which was I how I discovered about the Valuation Limit thingy on my very first post). So we quickly went to settle that part and redid out maths again.

Becoming More Seasoned House Hunters

As we started to view more properties, we got a better clarity of what type of property we were looking for, and our quality of questions when viewing the houses improved. From initial questions like "where is this house facing", "what is the view like", etc.. we started to ask more cheem questions like "what angle will the sun come in and which parts will it hit", "is your flooring teak?". Even as we "level up", I will still always ask one question - "Is your unit Fibre (Opennet) Ready?" - One of the agents must have got so used to this question that subsequently, when we went to view any property with him, and when he spots that familiar rectangular Opennet box, he will point at it and tell me that the house is Fibre ready.

The Fate (or Lack of Fate) of Owning A Place

Of the properties we seen so far, three of it caught my eye. The first was a four room apartment at Baywater. The property was owned by a Malay family and they had made a great effort to renovate the place. The place had a European wooden theme, with a false ceiling where they place spotlights to brighten up the place. The kitchen was also nicely done up. What was most impressive about this development (for a techy like me) was that not only was the house Fibre ready, the place was fully wired up as part of the development - meaning there is a data patch panel located at the comms riser and each room has a data port. I don't think a lot of people see the value in this, but to me, it was a great feature as this means you don't need to run ugly looking LAN cables all over the shop. (Wireless speeds cannot be compared to LAN speeds). Alas, the DTL construction was just behind the development, and we didn't want Kiddo and ourselves to be woken up every morning by the sound of construction works. If the construction of the DTL were a little bit further away, or completed, we would like have gotten this place.

The second property was a 4 storey (Basement + 3 Storeys) cluster-house in Springfield, near Simpang Bedok. We had no plans initially to look at cluster houses as we felt that it would be way out of our league, and that multi-storey houses may not be suitable for young kids. Subsequently, we found out that the estimated price of these houses were within our budget and so we decided to take a look. An arrangement was made to view 4 units that day, from what we thought was the most ideal in terms of location to the least. After viewing the first three, we were almost about to give up as we felt that the houses are generally quite old and run down but decided to go for the 4th one instead, which is the least desired as it was directly facing the pool. But when we stepped into the unit, we were immediately wowed by it. The owner had spent quite a huge sum (I understand it to be around 80k) to do a major overhaul of the unit, making the entire place look modern and chic, including the kitchen and respective rooms. Furthermore, the renovation was done about a year ago, but the owner had to move out as they had old folks who had difficulties climbing the stairs. We were immediately impressed by the place. Our agent could sense our excitement and immediately asked the seller's agent the lowest price the seller was willing to sell the place. The seller's agent didn't give a definitely answer, but told us the price of the rejected offer. On the way back, me and my wife, after agreeing to the range we were willing to pay, decided to make an offer via our agent. The agent told us he will check all the paperwork and then contact the seller's agent. Unfortunately, by evening time, our agent told us the place was sold.

While we didn't manage to get the place, the experience opened up another option for us to look at multi-storey units. At the same time, my wife's colleague introduce her to this property called Villa Marina at Siglap. This property was something we came across before (I later learnt) but we never paid attention to it initially.  My wife went to look at it one day over lunch with her colleagues and was impressed by the overall design of the area. Who wouldn't when you are presented with this view.

View of the Large Pool

We made an arrangement to view 2 of the units on offer at the condo. We were quite unimpressed with the first one as it was bare bones and was facing the main road (Marine Parade Road), thus it was quite noisy. The 2nd one got us hooked - the place was renovated when the owners first move in (about 12 to 13 years ago) but the place was very well kept. It had a very European feel, the living room had a fireplace, with a unblocked view out the windows at the living room. Imaging spending a lazy Sat afternoon at the living room, sitting by the window and sipping tea. The bedrooms were nicely done up as well and my wife loved one of the bedrooms which was converted into a study room. This time round, we knew that we will have to strike fast, we did a quick calculation on the maximum we want to offer and told our agent that amount. Our agent called the seller's agent but was told that the owner can only make a decision tonight on the offer. That very night, we met up with the owner - the first round of discussion didn't went through well as both of us and the sellers could not agree on a price. The owner then invited us to look around the house one more time, where he described in greater detail the different parts of the house and the renovations he done. We were impressed by his attention to details with regards to the renovation, and felt that he was very proud of this house. More importantly, the tour made us confirm that this is the house we want. When we sat down for the 2nd time, both the seller and us came to a common price that both parties could agree on very quickly. Perhaps its because we were convince by him that the property is worth the price in his mind, and they were convinced by us that we will help them take care of this house they have painstakingly maintained these past years. 

So here we are, proud owners of a 2 Storey Top Floor Penthouse in Villa Marina. A bit pricier then what we had very initially budgeted for, but definitely someplace we will not regret buying. Through the whole experience, we had believe by faith that God will open doors for us if its the right property, and close it if its not the correct one. This is a true testament to that believe, we had two chances before which we felt was the right one, but God choose to close these doors, including one at the last minute. Subsequently we were brought to a condo that was not part of our shopping list, and God choose to open this door for us. By the same faith, even though we know that the price was a bit pricier, and we have to factor in some renovation costs inside (+ misc costs), we believe that Jesus has already paid in full the amount for us as he had shown us this unit for us and kiddo to spend a good part of our life in.

I shall leave you with a few shots of the property. 
Living Room

Living Room view from 2nd Floor

Study Room

Master Bed Room

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

CNA's Limited Picture Archive of Mr. Chan Chun Sing

Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Mr. Chan Chun Sing has been quite active in the news recently. So much so that Channel News Asia seemed to have problems to find a new photograph of him each time to accompany the news article. In the end, it appears that they have to recycle the same set of photographs of him over and over again, irregardless of whether the topic is on community development, or youth, or sports.. (duh). Look at the number of times the same photograph have been repeated.

Photograph 1:

Photograph 2:

It reminded me of the early days where we made fun of an ex TCS (Mediacorp) actor by the name of Benedict Goh. That famous 'Many Faces of Benedict Goh' seemed to have disappeared from the Internet world saved for one image in the archives of Mr Brown's Blog.

So, here it what I perceived as how Channel News Asia sees Mr. Chan Chun Sing.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

昨天的情形 到底是怎樣

Justin Lee (李宗瑞), who is wanted by the Taiwan police for the suspected drug-rape of numerous women, including some female celebrities, surrendered himself to the Taiwanese police on 23rd Aug 2102. One of Taiwan's news channel, CTTV did an extensive coverage of the story, including showing an "exclusive" footage of him being escorted out of court. They were so proud of this so called "exclusive" footage that they had to repeat it about 100 zillion times (inclusive of zooming in and out of the video) for about 4 hours! Watch a snippet of the news to understand what I mean.

全民最大黨 naturally, did a hilarious spoof of it.

Just like what they did to Edison Chen a couple of years ago for this

With this

I simply love Taiwan news.....

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Adventures of Happy Call!

The latest cooking utensil craze to hit Singapore should be that of the Happy Call Double Sided Plan . Basically it is two flat pans that is pivotable at the top and allows you to cook stuffs that requires frying on both sides by simply turning over the pan. The two pans are closed (locked) together using a with a strong magnet at its handles and is sealed with a rubber tubing that goes around the circumference of the pan.

My wife and I managed to get one during a promotion sale at Isetan and had been enjoying cooking some tasty dishes on it. Below are some of the dishes we tried, as well as the recipe and short description on how to cook it.

1. Swiss Rösti

The traditional way to cook Swiss rösti is to flip it over once one side is cooked, like how they do it at Marché. I have tried it using a conventional pan but without much success. My flipping leaves half a mangled mess on the pan, and the other half on the stove. The Happy Call Pan is thus great for cooking Swiss rösti as you simply just have to turn over the pan once one side is done

You can make your own fresh Swiss rösti from raw potatoes (Google for the recipe) or you can buy one of those pre-made packed which are available at the supermarkets (I have seen them available at Cold Storage, Marketplace, Fairprice Finest and Fairprice). Just simply need to follow the cooking instructions on the back of the packaging. Each side takes about 7-8 mins to cook, and once one side is done, just flip the pan around and cook the other side.

Swiss Rösti

2. Steaks

You can get good quality steaks quite easily now with the growing number of quality butcheries being set up in neighborhood shops or shopping centers. One of these gourmet food suppliers, Culina have even partnered with Fairprice Finest to offer its quality meats at all Fairprice Finest branches across Singapore.

Cooking steaks using the Happy Call Pan not only allows you to cook both sides of the meat by simply turn over the pan, it also seals in the meat's flavor due to the magnetic locking mechanism and rubber tubing.

There are two ways to cook the meat.

1. Place meat on heated Happy Call Pan, sprinkle salt (sea salt tastes better, or you can get one of those gourmet salts like red wine salt or truffle salts) and black pepper, close the pan and let it cook for 2-3 mins (for medium rare). Flip the pan and repeat.

2. Place meat on heated Happy Call Pan, but do not sprinkle and salt or pepper, close the pan and let it cook for 2-3 mins (for medium rare steak). Flip the pan and cook the other side. Once both sides are cooked, sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.

I personally prefer the first method as the taste of the salt and pepper will be more embedded into the beef. However, if you prefer a more beefy taste, then method two would be more suited for you.

In terms of the selection of beef cuts, it is really up to the individual. I personally prefer the Ribeye due to it being more flavorful, and the cuts tends to be thicker, thus it is easier get the right texture if you prefer your steak medium rare.

Method 1 Cooking: Marbling 8+ Wagyu Beef

Method 2 Cooking

Method 2 Cooking

3. Claypot Rice

This is a surprise dish to be cooked using a Happy Call Pan. I found this recipe while searching around the internet for Happy Call recipes. Basically, the wide base pan allows for the rice to be charred at the bottom -  at the same time, the locking mechanism and rubber tubing traps the water and retains inside the rice in the middle, as well as the top ingredients. Resulting in a combination that is akin to rice being cooked on a traditional claypot.

The recipe can be found here. (Thanks to Cuisine Paradise)

Claypot Rice

Claypot Rice Close Up

4. Pan Fried Dumplings (饺子) aka Gyoza

Similarly to claypot rice, the Happy Call Pan is good to cook pan fried dumplings as it is able to char the bottom of the dumplings, yet lock in the water inside the fillings to make the dumpling juicy.

5. Pork Chops

Similarly to steaks, pork chops can be pan fried using the Happy Call Pot on one side and subsequently turning over the pot to cook the other side.

Pork chops seasoned with herbs 
Pork chops with sauteed cauliflower and buttered herb rice

The Happy Call Pot is available at major departmental stores (Isetan, Robinsons), online at, or via the home shopping network (look out for the advert during Channel U's home shopping broadcast).