Friday, March 19, 2010

Some Wagyu pastrami sandwiches from Moomba Tuckshop


These were suppose to be a wagyu pastrami and a roast beef sandwich from Moomba Tuckshop (4 Battery Road, #B1-01 Bank Of China Building, tel : +65 6536 5235), but the lady working at the counter apparently grabbed the same wagyu pastrami for both sandwiches when the pile of roast beef was actually sitting near the pastrami. I didn't think it was worth the time to correct the order and ended up with 2 similar sandwiches with different bread options. The fillings differed only between the sauerkraut and chopped onions which was in the respective sandwiches. Otherwise, the pastrami was actually a Reuben. What's happening here?

Still, I would suppose that this place offers one of the better tasting and decently decked sandwich options. I would have always preferred a little more generosity with the fillings though. The pastrami did actually taste spiced apart from just being plain salty and perhaps of the source of meat, I had thought that the flavors were more pronounced than the usual even when it had to contend with the sauerkraut and mustard dressing. And at the region of $18 after adding a coffee, I am guessing this place wouldn't be a regular quick lunch option with the sub $5 places nearby even if I worked around the corner.

The Illy's coffee here in this place was quite bad too.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Imperial Treasure Noodle and Congee House, ION Orchard


Well, this is definitely an overdue entry which I've put off writing for quite a few weeks already. What started off as an entry for a visit to Imperial Treasure (2 Orchard Turn, #B3-17 ION Orchard, tel : +65 6509 8283) has become a culmination of a few visits because getting on with this took much longer than I had expected. Still, it has marked the fact that I've found a pretty good place for Hong Kong styled food and dim sum to that I won't be thinking of getting back to Crystal Jade outlets anytime in the near future since this was honestly, very much better in terms of variety and for some instances, quality.

poached noodles with prawn roe

These noodles where something that I missed out having when I visited Hong Kong a few months back and I was actually pretty surprised to find them here. It turned out to be very much like I expected with the powdery prawn roe providing a savory flavor with a hint of crustacean sweetness over fairly springy noodles. The noodles were of course not as good as I had unrealistically hoped for. There was something about their texture that didn't quite feel as springy.

bbq chicken liver with honey sauce

These barbequed livers were also another good find. Despite the method of cooking, with the insides being well cooked, the livers still tasted creamy. Imagine liver versions of char siew. That was pretty much what these were.

chee cheong fun with pork liver

There were a variety of fillings for the chee cheong fun and the pork liver option came generously stuffed with the livers. It wasn't so much more of the novelty than the option of it that made this restaurant appealing to me and having innards stuffed into rice rolls definitely rings an attractive chime for me.

deep fried pig intestines

Almost needless to say, these deep fried intestines were really good. Crispy on the skin and lightly chewy and greasy on the insides, filled with a healthy amount of that porky intestine flavor that wasn't overwhelming. If I had to gripe, it would have to be with the portions

har gao

The har gaos from Imperial Treasure are a little smaller than the usual ones, but they still tasted decently good and were a lot more juice filled than the regular ones as well.

pan fried radish cake

The pan fried radish cakes were creamily textured and had would have done much better if the skin had a little more crisp. But I'm not complaining here at all. I've been ordering this almost every visit.

xiao long bao

Juicy and decently tasty, I think that these dumplings are a match for the over rated ones from Din Tai Fung which seems to see declining standards over the years.

egg tarts

The egg tarts were freshly made as we had to wait 20 minutes for them. I am able to attest that freshly made, these were definitely one of the better ones that I've had locally. They arrived almost scalding on a crispy crust that wasn't to heavy with the grease.

beef brisket e-fu noodles

I'm not usually a soup noodle person but I had to try the ones here as they had e fu noodle options which I don't remember seeing elsewhere apart from the trip down to Kau Kee last year. Keeping in mind that Kau Kee was suppose to be a landmark for beef brisket noodles, I found myself liking the ones here much better. For one, there was a greater proportion of the beef stew soup resulting in a much better flavor. To gripe, I only wished that the noodles were less well cooked.

roasted duck

The roasted duck was a little disappointing, tasting quite ordinary and lacking in the department of tenderness for some portions of the meat. The skin was sufficiently crispy, but lacked somewhat in the underlying layer of fat which could have better enhanced the flavors. I would definitely pick one of my favorites down at Circular Road over this anytime.

salted yolk custard bun

We get some pretty good salted egg buns here. Not that I've been going around eating them, but I thought that there were pretty well done, having had some terrible renditions before.

dumplings in chilli oil

Honestly, I've had better and the spiciness was really questionable since it wasn't really so at all. An note to myself to avoid ordering these again.

chee cheong fun with fish and century egg

This was probably not one of the better options for fillings in the rice rolls. The fish didn't taste exceptionally fresh and was rather flaky. There wasn't that much of the century egg to go around so here's something that I can strike off for the subsequent visits.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Viet Inn, Circular Road

pho

hu tieu mi

goi cuon

The recent streak of craving for soup noodles led us down at Viet Inn (49 Circular Road, tel : +65 6536 1847) which apparently has been operating for a number of years. There was a relatively enjoyable pho bo that would have been more enjoyable with a beefier tasting broth and something of a specialty call hu tieu mi, which was a prawn and sliced pork noodle featuring chewy and thin egg noodles that reminded me quite a bit of soup wanton noodles. The texture of the egg noodles was unfortunately not as Q as I had imagined. The accompanying soup in the bowl of hu tieu mi was rather tasty but I was unable to identify what made it so apart from the pork and fried shallots. Maybe it was just MSG.

We found the goi cuon to be pretty good, loaded with bean sprouts, rice noodles and more thin sliced pork and shrimps in the rice rolls. The accompanying sharp bean dip with crushed peanuts on the side definitely helped quite a bit in making these fat rolls more tasty as well.

This place seems to be quite polite if a little understaffed, even when it wasn't a full house. The goi cuon and hu tieu mi were definitely an interesting draw, even though things were a little pricier in comparison with places like Madam Saigon or even Pho House. I'd take these latter two locations over for the pho, given the choice though.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

A taste of Burgundy...

This visit happened at Bistro Du Vin because I was informed by a little bird that the consultant chef Maria Goncalves from Burgundy was to be in this weekend and that she would be whipping up some of her own food which was off the regular menu. Being a sucker for many things limited edition, I got interested and got table for lunch in the weekend.


Thing started off with a zucchini minestrone with prawns and poached eggs and a pasta and broccoli in skate wing broth. The former soup was a little different from the conventional minestrone from the lack of tomatoes used for the soup. The flavors that were present in the light vegetable broth came mostly from the bits of bacon which provided a noticeable accent of savory smokiness. I've to admit that upping the ante of things for this particular soup, were a couple of crunchy textured prawns and a wobbly poached egg.

The pasta in skate wing broth was also, unexpectedly delicious. Soup based pastas generally aren't something that I normally feel that I would enjoy. This was just something that surpassed what I had expected, sitting in a robust and flavorful broth of skate flavored with bits garlic and highlights of poached tomatoes and some spiciness from red chilli. To accentuate how much we had enjoyed this, we had to ask for extra bread to mop the plate dry with.


After a nice warm up from the delicious soup, were the mains of braised veal knuckle with ratatouille and a roasted duck breast with foie gras and truffles sauce. The former, when it was served looked to me pretty much like an osso buco rather than a veal knuckle, complete with the boned in middle that contained that precious scrap of oesophagus clogging marrow. The meat was expectedly, "fall off the bone" tender that one could just attack with a mere fork.

Pleasantly well done was the thinly sliced tender roasted duck breast, medium done and lying in a pool of very fragrant truffle sauce. The accompanying slices of foie gras wasn't as impressive as I would have liked, but the highlight was honestly, just the very nicely done duck in the sauce. Would be really great if this turned up on the regular menu.


This dessert was known as Poires Belle Hélène and was basically a spiced poached pear with vanilla bean ice cream, slathered with melted dark chocolate and shaved almond flakes. I liked the fact that the fruit still retained a little hint of crunch in the texture and the rest of the dessert tasted pretty much as it looked. In a good manner of course.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Khao kha moo


This khao kha moo which was essentially a sort of 5 spice braised pork trotters ,was introduced by a colleague who seems to be a regular down in these parts at Golden Mile Complex. This place (Sin Lai Lai Snack House, #01-30) serves a variety of Chinese Thai food and their braised pork trotters with rice is apparently one of the signature dishes. The meat of the pork was "fall off the bone" tender without excessive fats and accompanying skin. The gravy that was used to braise the pork seemed to be soy based with hints of cinnamon and cloves and is apparently used to simmer the eggs that come with this rice dish. The eggs cooked as such were in a way similar to tea leaf eggs, but lacked in the department of flavor. Still this turned out to be quite tasty and generously portioned for $4 and minimal fuss.

Will definitely consider coming back to get more of the khao kha moo and probably pineapple fried rice.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

More pho...


To satiate more of the beef noodle craving that I'm getting lately, I dropped by Madam Saigon for another bowl of pho. I think I preferred the broth down here in comparison with the mildly sweetish rendition from Pho House if I had to pick between one. However, as it was with the previous experience here, the broth was not as warm as I was hoping for. This lukewarm broth syndrome was at least, consistent about Madam Saigon. And here, it was definitely also a very much more accessible location as compared to Suntec which is really a pain to walk into. There's also the option to top up the bowl with tendons which is really appreciated. I guess that with convenience in mind, it's really difficult to think elsewhere for a bowl of pho bo when I'm looking for one.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Pho House, Suntec City


I've been craving for something to eat that is light on the stomach lately after a recent spell of flu which left me with a residual cough and souped beef noodles were pretty much all that I could think of. Which was pretty much the reason why I ended up at Pho House (3 Temasek Boulevard, #03-008 Suntec City Mall, tel : +65 6820 2455).

I've to say that for the price points and what I perceive to be a genuinely rustic appeal to the service and food, I've really no complains. The large bowl of pho bo came with generous portions of sliced beef and the only thing I could think of to remark was that there was a mildly sweetish after taste to the broth instead of a full savory flavor I was expecting. Still, I think I've no qualms about grabbing a bowl of that if I'm ever in the vicinity. Also there was a sort of bean sauce on the side which while was tasty, didn't come across as recognizable for myself. Not sure what that was.

Down on the side, there was a really good beef salad of sorts which worked like a lettuce wrap with sliced roasted beef, deep fried shallots, some onions and ground nuts over a lump of rice noodles that comes with a sweet and sour fish sauce dressing for drizzles on the side. I forgot what this thing was called, but I found it to be pretty substantial for the light food I was looking for in it's enjoyable flavors and textures and certainly wouldn't mind eating them again.