Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Pura Brasa, Tanjong Pagar Centre

We've noticed the renovation boards up at Pura Brasa (#01-16 Tanjong Pagar Centre, 5 Wallich Street, tel : +65 6386 9678) weeks back while wondering what kind of new Spanish place it would be. So today we found out. I came here with relatively low expectations. There was no reason to expect them to be special or different from what we already have.

By the way, the restaurant serves Estrella Damm on tap. It's the regular version and not the Inedit brew created by Ferran Adrià of El Bulli. I found the Inedit to be a much smoother drink.

While I have mentioned keeping expectations low, I entitled myself to certain pre-conceived notions. I was thinking that the patatas bravas might have been deep fried, a little smaller and crustier; made with mealy potatoes rather than waxy ones. Just like those patatas we had at Tapas Club or La Tapería. This was not to be. These were okay. Wouldn't order them again though.

The menu mentioned unbeatable quality at unbeatable prices for their jamón Ibérico. While I can't say much about unbeatable prices, I'm pretty sure it doesn't quite come across as unbeatable quality. The pictures on the menu look much better than the ones that they served. One could possibly construe those pictures as....misleading?

While we're getting the flavour from the jamón, it wasn't so impressive. Guess that's why there's no proud declaration of pedigree on that menu. The accompanying pan con tomate was pretty nice though.

I'll not be coming back here for jamón Ibérico for sure.

We ordered a vegetable timbale with goat's cheese. The cheese appeared in the form of a thin crumble spread on too much vegetables. We requested for more cheese and the restaurant obliged. Still not getting enough punch from those extras. The vegetables were not bad, but nothing to write home about. Guess what am I not ordering next if I come back? 

Fortunately, they did a pretty tasty octopus. The meat was tender and there was a good amount of salt flakes to get the flavours going. However, I so feel that a bit more char for the crust and aroma would have improved it. A healthy drizzle of good quality EVOO would have made a better finish. Otherwise, I quite enjoyed this. The potato that came with it had a nice smoky flavour and bits of what I thought to be pork.

That's a Black Angus sirloin. Don't judge me for ordering that here. It's okay. Edible stuff. They got medium rare at medium, but these guys are a Josper Grill braggart and not a steakhouse so I let it slide. From the thinness of the cut, the meat wasn't impressive looking. Again, it's nothing like how it appeared on the menu. Another reminder is served at this point to not order again.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Machida Shoten, Japan Food Town @ Wisma Atria

I've been wanting to try Machida Shoten (#04-40, Wisma Atria, 435 Orchard Road, tel : +65 6262 3214) for quite a while. Let's just leave it at the lines being discouraging for most of the times we were there. We happened by this time and saw that there were still some empty seats.

The noodles in this shop are of the thicker variety. Something akin to the Chinese yellow noodles. I picked the hard option for doneness. Anything lesser would have been a little too soft for me.

We had a shio bowl. Not just any shio bowl but their rendition which comes with a small pat of butter and some black garlic oil. The broth was creamy and flavourful to the point that I thought it would have passed off as tonkotsu easily. But then again, shio is just a flavouring while the base of the broth was probably made with pork in the first place.

Machida Shoten is known for their Yokohama styled shoyu tonkotsu bowl. Also known as ie-kei styled ramen pioneered by a ramen-ya from the said city back in the 70s. From what I gather, it's a "style" of its own these days. Right down to the three sheets of seaweed. A first for me for sure. We had one to try and found the shoyu flavour rather pleasant. Between this and the shio bowl, the latter had packed a bit more flavour. Didn't see that coming. 

They had Iberico pork on the menu. These were surprisingly large ribs marinated in some sort of sweet soy sauce. A significant portion of those ribs we had gotten today were fat as well. Meat was reasonably tender and quite easily taken off the bone.

What we thought was pretty good were their shrimp gyozas. They contain only chunky pieces of shrimp. No pork or any vegetables. I thought they were pretty good. Will come back for them again. I very much prefer these over those at Keisuke's Gyoza King or Gyoza-Ya.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Tiong Bahru Bakery, Raffles City

We're generally not big on this place (#B1-11 Raffles City, 252 North Bridge Road) even though we've stopped by a couple of times for bites and coffee. Maybe it's because that I don't eat here much that I didn't realize that I should be asking them to heat up my baguette when I ordered one. I didn't so they didn't. I just thought that it might have been good practice for them to ask if we would like it so. 

Anyways it was cold and quite hard. There was barely enough butter so I had to ask for extras. This doesn't have anything on the one that Cafe Gavroche serves. Kinda sad that I can actually make comparisons where they have actually underperformed for something so simple that it doesn't even requires much skills to assemble. By the way, that matcha almond croissant doesn't seem to have any green tea taste at all. I got suckered into trying after seeing phrases like 'a delightful invention overflowing with mouthwatering matcha goodness' floating about. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Ryo Sushi, Orchid Hotel

There are few things about the almost year old Ryo Sushi (#01-06 Orchid Hotel, 1 Tras Link, tel : +65 6443 3463). The chef is named Roy, an anagram of Ryo. Hahaha. There are only omakase sets for dinner and the restaurant terms itself as a sushi diner. I have no idea what a sushi diner is.

Here be their $98 sushi omakase.

Zensai was some warm edamame with salt.

And some soy marinated hijiki.

Then came the truffled onsen tamago with ikura. The first of courses with ikura.

While I understand that these not so freakishly small wooden spoons are in line with the aesthetics of the restaurant, they are not the best tools for eating the egg.

Sliced fishes are laid out before the assembling of the sushi.

The first piece was tai with a squeeze of lime and a brush of shoyu.

Followed by ika with some black salt. They refused to elaborate on what that black salt was and we left it at that.

Next we shima aji with a brush of shoyu and some yuzu pepper.

Then kanpachi with just shoyu.

Aburi nanban ebi. Sweet and delicious paired with a nice char aroma from the torching.

Aburi hotate with salt and a squeeze of lime. Another sweet and delicious that's also paired with the char aroma.

Aburi kinmedai. Yummy.

This was a sliced up Ishigaki gai. Something seasonal. The clams were restless before they were shucked and were still in their final death throes, squirming slightly when I was taking the photo. The flesh was a little crunchy and sweet.

Akami marinated with shoyu and a light sprinkle of yuzu zest. It's a little different from the simply shoyu marinated or non marinated tuna that we usually get in our nigiri.

Then otoro, again with a brush of shoyu. This was sublime when the fat from the tuna belly melted.

The first of two gunkans we received in the course was ikura. Also the second of the ikura item that they served.

The second was uni. This was very nice.

Then a kani temaki. I couldn't identify what was mixed in the minced crab meat. I had originally thought it to be kani miso, but it didn't taste like those and the restaurant refused to comment on what it was.

The finale/highlight of the sushi omakase was a mini uni rice don. Uni that was crushed and mixed with the rice along topped with a few slivers of sea urchin, more ikura and some freshly grated wasabi. Very nice.

It all ended with a light clear soup.

I thought that there wasn't a dispute to the quality of their fishes but I could also see how they could price themselves like this and still make money. Frills are minimal and the fish were carefully portioned.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Yet another night at One Night Only

We tried the meat loaf this time round. For perhaps the first time since we've came here, we weren't impressed by the food. Oh, the corn bread and creamed corn were still delicious - it was just the meat loaf. It was relatively bland and I suppose the texture reminded me of a poorly made meatball. For the first time in a long while, I found something that tasted better with ketchup. It's like that.

Good news is, their shrimp etoufee is still as good. I didn't get a photo of their strawberry milkshake but it doesn't appear like the usual pink shake. They've blended frozen strawberries with vanilla ice cream so it looked pretty much like their vanilla shake. We had that malted too.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

More food from Tian Fu Ren Jia (天府人家)

We found ourselves back here for more dinner. Yeah, we got ourselves another order of those sour and spicy potato strips on rice (酸辣土豆丝饭) again. Something savoury about those crunchy potatoes that made them so tasty when you're hungry.

That's their fu rong egg rice. There's apparently nothing inside their fu rong egg except some spring onion leaves. No lup cheong, no prawns, no undercooked strips of onions or bean sprouts. Just mostly egg.

Their fried green beans with dried chilli is pretty good. There's actually bits of minced pork in there as well. The beans were thoroughly cooked with a soft crunch. Not as salty, spicy or oily as one would generally expect from these Chinese cooking.

The other item we had was simply called garlic sauce shredded meat. Both the English and Chinese name on the menu doesn't quite describe the dish which is shredded pork - with potato strips, wood ear fungus, chopped garlic, chilli and vinegar. Pretty appetizing stuff that's good with rice.