Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Boca, Bt. Pasoh Road

I don't remember having had Portuguese food before, not even when I was in Malacca ages ago or at Macau so Boca (6 Bukit Pasoh Rd., tel : +65 6221 0132) sounded interesting for something a little different. Well, maybe it's not all so different.

We started off with some of their bread. The basket came with three types of them - a regular one, one with pine nuts and the shadowy looking pieces are squid ink with sweet potato. The latter two were good. The former of the latter was fragrant with the nut (that good) and the latter of the latter tasted slightly crustacean. Not what I expected of squid ink, but it was quite nice. Especially with their very fruity EVOO. 

This was their bacalao fritters. I'm not sure if there are good representatives of Portuguese bacalao but they're quite different from the Italian ones. I'm not talking about the fried part. The mixture of the cod was probably just of different ingredients. But, if you wanted to know, I didn't think these were impressive. 

What got our attentions was their bife à café, or coffee steak. A seared medium rare tenderloin in cognac and espresso cream sauce. The experience of each mouthful felt like a teaser of a strong latte just before it reaches the lip before it transforms into a savoury velvet sauce in the mouth. We liked it. Wiped the plate clean with bread. A little expensive though.

The coffee steak came with almond rice. This was nicely done with the flavours of the nut infused into the rice. With a little bit of salt, it would have been awesome comfort food. With the aroma of almond.

The other interesting looking item on menu was their bread porridge. Made with bread obviously - doused in olive oil and seafood stock and folded in with bits of shrimp as far as we could tell. Quite nice, should be eaten hot or warm. Don't wait for it to cool.

On hindsight, what we ordered were a little too heavy on the carbs. But now we know.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Hainanese chicken rice stall at Tangs Market

Wow, as ordinary as this might have looked, this chicken rice was quite good (Tangs Plaza Basement 1, 310 Orchard Road). Their rice was flavourful enough that one could simply eat them on their own and the chilli sauce was pretty competent too. The roasted chicken drumstick had meat that was smooth and delicious while the soup that they had provided on the side was real chicken soup rather than the sorry excuse for cabbage broth that many stalls try to pass off as soup. I'm definitely coming back again.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The large butadon from Butahage

Here's the large butadon from Butahage featuring what turned out to be a chewier US beef in comparison to the more tender Premier Japanese option. I'm definitely sticking to the Japanese one in the future since it was noticeably much more tender, fat laced and flavourful. There was so much contrast in the flavour that I had even suspected that the glaze that they used for both meats were different.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Chicken rice from The Ship

I heard about the existence of the chicken rice from The Ship some years ago, but have never actually had a chance to try it since the only time that it was available is during Thursday lunches. So today it finally happened. It seemed that almost every neighbouring table is either having this or their fish soup noodles.

To be fair, it was a very competent chicken rice. I would have preferred a bit more flavour in the rice but being lightweight on the palate meant that I could decisively use more of the chilli which was limey and pleasant. The amount of chicken that came with it was the equivalent of at least two regular servings (or more depending) than if you had gotten chicken rice from a regular shop.

While this is not going to give me yearnings like Sin Kee does, it was really good enough to be an anytime fall back option. A go to that I wouldn't think twice about. Assuming that I happen to be here on Thursday afternoons and felt like spending $12.90 for a chicken rice lunch. Oh, it's a dollar twenty for an additional bowl of that rice there.

Dessert today was a cream puff.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

And perhaps one last Shashlik

Got swept up with the rest of the lemmings and ended up at Shashlik for lunch for another taste of their shashlik before they are closed for good as reported in the news. I had actually read about this online which happened to have a writer who's more imaginative than factual, describing the trolleys in the restaurant as rickety. The trolleys that are in the restaurant look anything but rickety to me.

But anyways, it's an opportunity for a bowl of their localized borsch soup with an extra scoop of sour cream and their really delicious chicken livers with caper sauce. These are the items that I'll be missing if the restaurant closes. The actual shashlik was fine if not fancy. A flavour of nostalgia which one cannot quite get elsewhere here.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Fei Lou Porridge, Telok Blangah Cresent Market & Food Centre

Although the name goes by Fei Lou Porridge (#01-116 Telok Blangah Crescent Food Centre, 11 Telok Blangah Crescent), this shop serves much more than just porridge.

The stall does serve up a number of types of porridge. This one that I had comes with ham and century egg. The texture was smooth and the flavours lightweight with a dash of soy sauce and sesame oil. Comfort food it was.

Here's some boiled cabbage with cuttlefish. This was nicely done too. The cabbage were just soft enough with a light residual crunch and the flavours of the cuttlefish permeated the dish. The only thing we didn't like were the fried shallots. It came from a plastic pack which meant that apart from a little texture, there wasn't much flavour to speak of. This dish would have been much better served without those shallots.

Fei Lou does boiled chicken as well. This came on a bed of toasted peanuts which was a nice addition. The meat was pretty tender, but the skin was a tad dimply and for some parts, too thick for my preferences. Decently done but otherwise, nothing to raise brows over.

I read that they were famous for their deboned fried chicken wings and since this was a first visit, we tried them out. I don't think this works for us. This was greasier than I had been hoping for and the flavour of the batter isn't quite my thing. Another lesson in life telling us that long queues sometimes doesn't mean what we think it means.

On the side, the braised tau kee (dried bean curd sheets) with pig stomach was excellent. Both the bean curd and tripe were suitably tender from all the braising sauce.

And because there was bee hoon, we ordered some. This was actually quite nice. Both with and without the chilli sauce on the side. The texture had a good bite and the flavours were present. Best of all, it didn't make me feel overly greased up.

Both proprietors of the stall looked dour, worked quietly and never did I see them speak to each other. But, I doubt telepathy is at play here.