Thursday, February 21, 2019

If I had to pick favourites from Nakajima Suisan

It'll probably be their kinmedai. Shio or saikyo yaki. Though the saikyoyaki seems to be on the regular menu and the shioyaki isn't.

Shishamo from them has always been pretty good. I shouldn't forget those tuna cheeks which I've never gotten a chance at again since the first time.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Guild, Keong Saik Road

I found out that The Guild (#01-01, 55 Keong Saik Road) was a collaboration between the Hong Kong's Young Master Brewery and a Vinny Lauria who was previously with Linguini Fini amongst other places. And yeah, some of the locavorism is advertised by the list of farms that they get their produce from.

Since one of the main features was their beer on tap from Hong Kong, a glass or two was in order. This was their Char Chaan Teng Gose that featured a salted lime flavour which was superb for our sweltering climate.

This item was called French onion dip. The creamy dip of caramelized onions was nice. Featured also pig's brains which one could taste if you had the dip alone. But the flavour of pig's brains can be delicate. Those hand cut chips that they served with took away what little flavour from the brain there was. Bread would have been a much better option. Or even boiled potatoes. Those chips was simply not a good idea. 

There was something also not right with those portions. Before half the chips were done, the dip was.

We had an order of their "marrow" bruschetta which featured not bone marrow but hashima. If you didn't know what that was already, it's fatty tissue found near the fallopian tubes of frogs. Thought it was an interesting substitute for marrow and definitely paired nicely with those parsley and the sweet oxtail marmalade on the side.

Their mac and cheese was delicious. Creamy and cheesy fortified by a glaze of broken house cured yolk and bits of their house cured bacon.

This was charred corn on the menu. There was a lot more grits than corn. Grits were creamy and sweet with a hint of spice from the chilli oil.

This would be a good time for another drink. A winter brew from Young Master Brewery called Hong Kong Black. A little sweet, toasty and chocolate-y. Not bad.

Finished with a nutty buah keluak ice cream.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Meatsmith Little India, Campbell Lane

Southern styled barbeque with Indian inspired flavours. That's what Meatsmith Little India (21 Campbell Lane, tel : +65 9625 9056) of the Unlisted Collections is about.

The place looked more like a watering hole than a barbeque pit. But we're not judging them by their appearances.

That's their Bombay butter naan topped with curry leaves, dill and chopped scallions. It's actually more flatbread than the more voluminous airy naan that we're used to. What mattered was that the flavours worked and I liked it more than I thought I would.

These were skewers of duck hearts with dry dahl. The latter was like dried crushed mung beans. Delicious duck hearts they were.

There was robust flavour from the lamb which paired off pretty well with their chimichutney - the green stuff slathered over those ribs. We dug those lamb-y flavours from the fat. Meat was also tender enough that we were working the ribs with butter knife. 

Pork ribs was unexpectedly unimpressive. The meat was dry and a little smoky. It needed some salt or perhaps a sweet glaze of sorts and some moisture would have definitely helped. I had imagined those coconut flakes to be like serunding but they weren't.

Gunpowder potatoes were pretty darned tasty.

Don't overlook their citrus-y green mango salsa which was a good counter to all the meat and spices. This was possibly the most impressive of it's type I've had. There was a load of crunchy tang from the mangoes with a bit of sharpness from the onions, a bit of perfume from dill and nuttiness from the cashews. Almost somtam minus the fish sauce.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Fried chicken wing rice from Tony Cafe at The Adelphi

Pretty good fried chicken wings from Tony Cafe (#02-23 The Adelphi, 1 Coleman Street, tel : +65 6336 7869). There was an exemplary crispy battered surface that was appropriately flavoured, coupled with tender meat that was quite slurp off the bone. 

The flavour from the chicken rice was as light as it wasn't greasy, but that also meant that the chicken rice styled chilli sauce on the side easily overwhelmed those light flavours. Then again I'm pretty sure the rice and the chilli weren't what people were coming for here for. It's them wings. Only Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Rang Mahal, Pan Pacific Singapore

I'm really glad this dinner happened because I've been wanting to come to Rang Mahal (Level 3 Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles Boulevard, tel : +65 6333 1788) for the longest time and the cost always deterred me.

The restaurant looked nothing like how I imagined it. I suppose it was actually more pleasant looking that the slightly old-ish look I had in mind. These guys have been around since 1971. That's a couple of years shy of half a century. Today it is run by Milind Sovani, previously from The Song of India

Everyone gets papads. They're spicy and pretty good with the spiced fruit chutney.

Amuse bouche was a deconstructed vada pav and some plum drink. It didn't look anything like a vada pav, deconstructed or not. It did taste like one though.

Their ajwaini tandoori black cod was good. Ajwain is a spice - carrom seeds, not a nation lost in the mists of time. Expensive but very nice. The meat was flaky, delicate yet also a balance of spices and lime with the flavour from the fish and smokiness from the tandoor.

More from their tandoor were the duo green and white asparaguses. These were enveloped in a tangy mustard cheese that paired up pretty well with the sweetness of the asparaguses. Again, great balance in flavour.

We had lamb chops. Smoked in applewood they menu mentioned. Nice. Lamb-y and smoky with the spice marinade that coated it. Tender that we worked through the ribs with just butter knife.

That's Roquefort kulcha. No prizes for guessing why this appeared in our orders. This brought a smile on my face. But I couldn't in fairness credit that smile to the skills of the restaurant. Because Roquefort.

We ordered this because it sounded like a curiosity based on the description on the menu which said 'Mumbai’s special minced masala lamb with soft eggs & buttered buns'. Keema with egg on a cast iron plate to make like shashuka I'd say! Most expensive keema - or shashuka with bread I've had. But this was really well done. Again, flavours and the balance.

Dessert was a rasamalai. We were a little worried that these would taste like wet cardboard but they didn't. It was nice and juicy.

And masala chai to finish. It was a $12 chai. I had initially thought it would be just a cup. It came in a pot which made 3 cups so $4 sounded especially reasonable in a place like this. The masala mix was very toned down which would normally not be my preference. I'm one for more strength from the spices and perhaps some heat from the ginger but this was still a pleasant tea.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Kyushu ramen and apple yoghurt salad from Tampopo

I've had my first taste of Kyushu styled ramen from Tampopo. It's always been a sort of reference for me for tonkotsu based bowls because I liked their creamy but thin broth and it was about the time I started learning more about ramen and their broth. These days we have plenty of other options for tonkotsu. I can't even differentiate if they're Kyushu, Hakata or Fukuoka styled these days. Or even if there's a difference.

There's an apple yoghurt salad in season now. Yoghurt's much nicer than most other creamy salad dressing.

But back to this. I don't think much has changed for their Kyushu styled bowl. Charshu's thin sliced and flavoured with fat. As much as these guys aren't a ramen-ya, I like theirs. Still not getting much of the mentaiko until the end of the broth though.