Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pupella Pizza, ION Orchard


This is another relatively new pizza joint down at the basement of ION. I've been walking past them numerous times and this time round, decided to give these fellas which reminded me a little of Donatos a try.

Understandably, there's only so much in the freshly made taste factor that one can derive from pizza that's placed over the counter and heated up only when you order them. These were their unheated Parma ham and rocket and their quad cheese pizza which had unexpectedly featured two thickness of crusts. The former being thicker and much chewier since it was left unheated and the other, pretty nice thin crust. I did enjoy the salty Parma ham over a generous bed of rockets, nicely concealed under the pizza, but it was really kind of tough chewing through the cold crust. Couldn't complain there since I turned down their offer to have them heated up.

As usual, I would have preferred more blue cheese from that quattro formmagi.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eating at the Noodle Place


It's been quite a long time since I last visited this place (176 Orchard Road, #01-53/56 Centrepoint, tel : +65 6733 3171). That was way before that chef from Mak's Noodle in Hong Kong had come across and created a little stir over wanton noodles. I thought that it would be good to check them out with the new chef and see how the noodles stand versus the pretty good one over at Canton-i.


We got ourselves an order of roast duck and char siew rice and found them to be pretty decent if not overly exceptional. Their char siew it seems, is done in a similar style as they do in Hong Kong, which meant much less caramelization on the outsides, little to no charred surface and has a much more savory flavor. Quite the different thing from the sweeter versions that are more commonly found locally.


It certainly didn't hurt to top up our dosage of greens.

Back to the wanton noodles, I'd have to say that I prefer this one over the Canton-i rendition. The wiry noodles had chewy textures that were pretty comparable and the wantons here were noticeably smaller in comparison, but I couldn't really discern much of a difference in flavors. What won me over was the really excellent soup that they had over here. This wasn't the regular wanton noodle soup, but contained also as I've found out, dried prawn roe and sole fish. Certainly made a hell of a difference when compared to the regular variety.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Smiths Fish and Chips, Tanjong Katong Rd


Little would I have expected that a British styled fish and chips joint would open up in such a location (230 Tanjong Katong Road, tel : +65 9639 8348) here. What's more, it seems that this shop has brought in their own frying range to do their job.

Let's see....it was all golden brown on the battered fried fish and the chips with a healthy amount of grease to soak. White, piping hot, firm and flaky fish meat on the insides. I definitely preferred the haddock over the cod which turned out to be not as tasty as the latter. The sour pickled eggs were an interesting novelty for me and I probably preferred the nutty tasting dried up mashed peas down at the defunct Fisherman's Wharf than the gooey one over here. These weren't bad, but it just reminded me of unsweetened green bean.

Wouldn't mind visiting again if it weren't such an effort just to reach this location.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Huhu Udon, ION Orchard


So this is a new joint (2 Orchard Turn, #B4-56 ION Orchard, tel : +65 6509 3256) brought in by the En Group after Go!Go! Curry! down at the basement of ION Orchard. As the name implies, it's a place that sells udon and I've never really been big on those thick chewy noodles except for the unfortunate Wakashachiya.

I had to admit that the creamy mentaiko broth base attracted me more than a little and it turned out to be a very good thing. The piping hot soup was milky, yet light tasting and was quite generously laden with the flavors of the roe with the associated spiciness. Each mouthful brought eggs that burst between the teeth. So good that I practically drank it all up after finishing the udon. They also had the curry with shabu beef version which wasn't as spectacular, but featured a very decent light curry that was not slouch on the spice like most Japanese curry. The meat was however quite forgettable, but this was probably one of the better curry udons I've had along with that one from Bon Goût.

Wait a minute, I haven't had that much curry udon to speak of......

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Al Qasr, Holland Village

It seems that I've found myself another place to return to for some Lebanese chow down at Al Qasr (46 Lorong Mambong, Holland Village, tel : +65 6467 7793). I had heard about this place some time back when they had opened up and had always been wanting to drop by. For some reasons, this was another one of those places that had been put on the "to check out" list for some time until today.


The restaurant started off serving us some appetizers which was basically olives, vegetable sticks and pickles. Which looked pretty much like what I remember from a neighboring Lebanese restaurant Al Hamra.


We ordered up a serving of their flat breads for the benefit of the hummus which we were also getting. These flat bread were surprisingly quite fragrant and were freshly made and steaming hot and puffy when they were served.


The grilled Halloumi cheese were really good. These mozzarella like cheese had a richer milky flavor and a higher content of salt, making them rather salty if you ate them on their own. The melting point of these cheeses were also quite high due to their composition and the result is that they can be grilled or pan fried without them really melting into a gooey mess. The texture was enjoyably chewy and very nicely coupled with their savory grilled flavors.


Their hommos karwarma was basically our order of hummus. Topped with pan fried minced lamb and a sprinkle of pine nuts. I really couldn't say that there would have been any better than this creamy and meaty dip for the flat breads.


To satiate the craving of lamb, we went with a serving of sawda ghanam. Pan fried lamb livers with butter, some spices and lemon juice. The livers were a little tough after the cooking, but really made up for themselves from the gamey flavors and a very appetizing sauce paired with the squeeze of lemon. Also great with the flat breads.


To top off the bunch of Lebanese tapas, we ordered a Sultani kebab which featured a nicely spiced, but unidentifiable as lamb piece of grilled meat and a couple of kebab koobideh accompanied by saffron infused basmati rice. The latter kebabs were finely minced and and had a taste that reminded me very much of sausages. Not really how I had expected them to be in terms of texture, but I guess the important thing was that they were tasty.


Dessert was a chilled almond pudding scented with rose and topped with bits of ground pistachio. This was unexpectedly very delicious. Sweet and creamily textured, reminding me of a very milky panna cotta.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Big mixed grill from Colbar


It's been quite a while since I last visited Colbar. I haven't actually eaten here much so I still found the menu slightly overwhelming for such a little place. Today, I discovered that it's pretty much rearrangement of stuff over different items and really, there's not that much else I haven't eaten for the little times I've come over.

I ordered up the big mixed grill since the little one cost just 4 dollars less and it turned up to be a plate laden with some meats that one can get from other items on menu (as with all mixed grills). So there went the cow, the lamb, some sliced pig, unnamed pig parts in a tube form, a fried egg and a generous piece of cow liver, slathered in a rather ubiquitous brown sauce along with peas, mushrooms and chips. I can't say that it wasn't anything that I hadn't expected except for the liver which no one else really includes into their mixed grill. I'm thinking that this was probably one of the largest mixed grills I've had, and also probably the most expensive that I've come across for $25. A load of red meat, grease and stuff that your heart won't forgive you for in one seating.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

L'Entrecote, Duxton Hill


This was truly some enjoyable steak frites being done here at L'Entrecote (36 Duxton Hill, S089614, tel : +65 62385700). What seems to be different in the approach that the restaurant is taking is that, unlike other French bistro styled eateries, this place specializes in only steak frites. And that also being the only item on the mains section of the menu that one can order.

So what we're really talking about here is a no pretension plate of what was claimed to be striploin (approximately 180-200g) cooked to the choice of doneness and served with their specialty sauce with a healthy stack of golden shoestring fries to go. The steak, pre-sliced, was served in two portions. What you see up in the picture is pretty much the first half.

Was it a good steak? I would have to say that I enjoyed it pretty much and even liked the tangy sauce that came along with the meat. Creamy and fairly robust, that sauce which I found so familiar but was unable to put a finger to didn't quite overwhelm the flavours of the meat. Certainly no complains about their crispy and adequately salted fries as well.


There were a bunch of options for entrée and we thought that the rich roasted bone marrow and creamy duck rillettes were good enough that we could come back again just for them.

One however needs to get used to the tightly spaced tables across the dining hall which really brings your neighbor's conversation spilling across your own and certainly, not the place you'll wanna be at if you're looking for privacy or a quiet dinner. Also certainly not a place I expected to make a conversation with someone an elbow away to discover that he's actually Lamine Guendil, CEO of Senso Holdings.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Li Xin Teochew Fishball Noodles, Food Opera @ ION


This was probably the most expensive fishball noodles I've ever had. Apart from the large ivory globules of hamachi fishball, it was also the constant queue that piqued my curiosity over the stall. Yeap, it is mentioned that yellowtails are used for the making of those fishballs which were honestly pretty good. Their texture was both light and bouncy. What I didn't think that much of was their supposedly special blend of chilli sauce which tasted a little sweet and tangy like that of the bottled variety. It was definitely that pork lard that salvaged that chilli sauce for me.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Friday, November 05, 2010

Pietrasanta, Portsdown Road


I'd be tempted to drop by this place (5B Portsdown Road, #01-03 Wessex Estate, tel : +65 6479 9521) more often if not for the location. Funny thing that I used to work a few minutes drive away and I've never came by even though I was aware of it's existence then.


Pietrasanta themes itself as a Tuscan styled restaurant. As much as can be seen, the setup was comfortably country. It's a little unfortunate about the weather here or otherwise, outdoor sitting would have been great.



We started off with some trippa alla Fiorentina which was a delicate balanced mix of flavors that wasn't overly tangy from the tomato base with a healthy dose of Parmesan cheese and a very appropriate use of rosemary on the soft stewed tripe and beans. Definitely wasn't excessive on the herbs and that made the stew aromatic rather than overpowering. Portions and flavors were nothing short of hearty. I think I liked this better than the one over at La Braceria.


The same heartiness could be used to describe their polenta with bits of spicy sausage. It did arrive looking quite similar with their stewed tripe, but here, the flavors was a nice mix of smokiness and spiciness. The meaty textures were also of a different type since this was really minced sausage over a steaming hot cake of comforting polenta that disintegrated after you popped it into your mouth.


Very nice tagliatelle con salsiccia e tartufo they have here. The sauce was both light in texture and rich in flavors, fairly intensely of the truffle coupled with generous bits of more sausage. Quite the best representative of Italian ba chor mee I've ever had. This one, for it's lack of oregano and a much more truffle-y flavors beats the rendition from Da Mario.


Their cannelloni di cinghiale gratinati did look rather ubiquitous, but pleasantly surprising were the fillings of intense flavors. The minced wild boar was gamey enough to remind me of mutton which I found myself enjoying, blended in almost equal parts of intensity with the chopped olives and Parmesan cheese on the insides. Juicy!


The cannoli was unfortunately a little disappointing for me. It wasn't so much of the fruit filled ricotta cheese than the not so crispy chocolate tube. I was really imagining something like the one over at Garibaldi.


Blood orange sorbet here was pretty good. There was a nice mix of bitters and citrus there. The texture was surprisingly creamy and one might have thought that there was cream until it melted in the mouth and the flavors told otherwise.


This is the part where I'm suppose to say, I'll be back. :p

Monday, November 01, 2010

Angelo's, Killiney Road


Extremely disappointing. Has got to be the worst Italian food I've had this year. Will not return. Waste of money.

Ayam Penyet Ria, Lucky Plaza


I admit to being a little skeptical on first sight at this place (304 Orchard Road, #01-45 Lucky Plaza tel : +65 6235 6390) from the huge crowd and lengthening queue. The first thing that had occurred to me was simply how the kitchen could've kept up with what must have been a mad demand for their fried chicken since it was pretty much what everyone was having. The pessimist in me imagined greasy battered chicken fried in a rush resulting in what I thought to be another over rated chicken joint.

To my surprise, it was all pretty damn good in spite of their flash fast service after the order. And no, the chicken wasn't excessively greasy at all. What surprised me was that the crispy thin batter was nicely done, encapsulating meat that wasn't overly dehydrated. Even their fried tempeh has a creamy quality about it. Not to mention a really tasty gado gado with a rich and sweet peanut gravy. I'm definitely coming back again.