Monday, August 18, 2014

A Diamond this August

Say what you will about them, Lawry's exhibits consistency. Something that many places seem to have difficulty achieving. Be it their tender prime rib, mashed potatoes that has enough of those little bits of potato amidst the creamy pile to let you know that there are real potatoes; or their smooth and savoury creamed spinach. These guys are still the ones to beat for the classic slow roasted prime rib here. Hell, they're even the ones to beat for the crisp Yorkshire pudding. I'm not sure whether I should be glad that they're upholding standards or sad that in the ever changing dynamics of our F&B market, there's still none that can beat them. Though I'm fairly certain this Diamond Jim Brady has become smaller in recent years while prices have noticeably inched upwards.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The spicy yuzu ramen at Yoshimaru Ramen Bar

Yoshimaru Ramen Bar has been off the radar for a while, at least for myself. They started off here doing Hakata styled tonkotsu broth ramen before the era of Ramen Champion which has to some degrees, garnered more limelight via social media. In retrospect, brands like Ikkousha, Nantsuttei and Keisuke have outdone them in terms of popularity and personally for me, flavour. I'm pretty sure Yoshimaru has their fans, but the interest for me has dwindled.

Today's to check out their spicy yuzu ramen, which uses in some form, yuzu. What else? I think it's quite nice. The flavour of the citrus fruit was definitely there, paired up with a steady warm heat that allows the broth to endure. Their takana on the side pushes the warmth a little more with some dimensions. This particular flavour I hear, has been developed by a test team back in Japan in response to local palate preferences. The rest of the components were so so. The noodles didn't come across as hard enough and to be fair, that wasn't requested for during order. I guess they aren't quite up there as the ramen specialist that we've been used to from the past few years that I'd think to ask for harigane.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Another crayfish party at Ikea

I hadn't realised that it's already been a year since the last crayfish party. This year, they charged $20, but gave a $10 voucher in return for the ticket purchase so if you do buy things from them, it would be exactly the same price as last year. I have to say that they did improve some things. The most obvious was the queue management which was more organized. The quality of the bugs that they served was also better than the last year, but they could have been a little over-enthusiastic on the salt. I lasted a couple of dozens like the last time before I moved on to other things.

Off the main crayfish offerings which were plagued (at least at the start) by aunties doing their best showing us what it was like in the third world food handout, they had crispy fried half mid wings this year and a chopped salmon tartare which was tossed with some tahini like dressing that packed respectable heat. And then their semi hard cheeses which was great with the gooseberry jams. Not exactly the same thing as last year so I guess I could look forward to the next expecting new surprises? 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Blu Kouzina, Bukit Timah Road

I've passed by Blu Kouzina (893 Bukit Timah Rd, tel : +65 6875 0872) many times along the main road and never realised that it was just right on the ground floor. This is the first time we've been to a Greek restaurant. While what I know about their food is pretty limited to what I've read, the Mediterranean quality to their style of preparation wasn't unfamiliar.

By the way, the olive oil that they have on the table are pretty good stuff.


Can't say that I've had lots of bean salads in my life but this one that they had with three different beans was not bad at all. The dill and spring onions were a great pairing for flavour. 

saganaki with figs

A saganaki as I've learnt, is a dish of fried cheese prepared in a small frying pan. They cheese that they used according to the menu was a sheep/goat cheese known as kefalotyri, something not unlike halloumi, but not wasn't entirely the same for taste and texture. It was heavy on the salt while the figs were concentrated sweetness.


This spanakorizo which was basically spinach cooked with rice was my favourite item for the dinner. It's spinach and rice and some herbs. There was definitely dill. The rice was wet, textured like a stodgy porridge. But it was delicious. Something I would get again in revisits.

bifteki stin sxara

This was the only item off the mains we had. The portions of the salads and the rice before this were pretty big so there was only so much space we could afford. We even had to pass on the baklava for desserts after this. This, referring to their beef patty. I'm not particularly impressed because the meat was of a pretty fine mince, so that meant that there wasn't so much of texture to go around. The flavors were expected, but the food was doused with quite a bit of olive oil and lemon like everything they served prior to this dish. It tasted noticeably better eaten with bread than alone.

Well, my interest is piqued. It's been a while since I've had something really different and in spite of the fact that I wasn't blown away by the food, there were things that i liked and I really would give serious considerations to coming back. Service was pretty good.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Lunch at the Naked Finn

I think this current lunch menu down at Naked Finn was a pretty recent development. For one, they didn't have the lobster roll (Connecticut style apparently) nor the secreto Ibérico previously. And the availability of their hae mee tng (soup prawn noodles) at lunch was something that they had done not too long ago IIRC as it was a supper only item previously.

Their Indian baby squids were available as sides. These are still char-smokin good.

The Naked Finn's hae mee has been something that's been talked about. At least for the people who're into paying more for food that is. For one, it was $25, probably the most expensive prawn noodle around and definitely the most expensive one I've had. From what I've read, they've been experimenting with the prawns that are used for the stock and from what they told us, it's now botan ebi and sakura ebi that makes the soup. It's actually pretty good and naturally very flavourful if what they claimed were it. The Japanese styled kurobuta charshu dissolves in the mouth. Those prawns that came with the noodles (somen option there) were fresh and sweet.

Deftly priced at $29 in between Market Grill/Luke's Oyster Bar and Platypus Lobster Shack, this came across as an in-betweener. What I did like was the chunky lobster meat like what they do at Market Grill and that there was definitely a lot more butter involved in the roll compared to the one at Platypus Lobster Shack. But Luke's takes the cake for butter. And salt. The differences between the three were that obvious. Was is good? Hell yeah for me.

And that's the secreto Ibérico which came with their addictive chilled piquant bee hoon. The flavours of the meat were moderately porky and livery at the same time with very visible meltingly soft intra-tissue fat spread across the slivers of meat. Grilled with olive oil and red wine thyme sauce. Nice.

20/20? The above fed two. It's still pricey for the portions, but the quality spoke for itself and was outstanding. If you come hungry, one item per person just doesn't quite cut it for portions.