Sunday, June 24, 2012

Kookabura Restaurant and Gastrobar, Albert Court Village Hotel


Kookabura (180 Albert Court, #01-09 Albert Court Village Hotel, tel : +65 8522 2365) is apparently an all day breakfast food kind of place. The ambiance was laid back with a modern-ish chill out vibe from the music and rustic food that could have benefited in presentation from similarly rustic crockery. Loved the food. Awesome grease butter egg protein salt and other carbohydrate stuff that is good that I wouldn't mind coming back to again.

The only dampener about the place was that it ran out of items and the wait staff never knew until an order was processed. It needs to communicate a lot more with itself.


The Kookabura was essentially their big breakfast plate. Strips of thinly sliced lamb proscuitto folded within scramble eggs were awesome. Enjoyed the mint green pea mash. Bacon was bacon. Lamb sausages was gamey, which I liked. Rump steak was flavorful, nicely grilled on the outside, medium well done on the inside and not overly tough. Sun dried tomato damper was great, the dense texture reminded me a little of corn bread/English scones. All in all, it was hearty and tasty and definitely what I could look forward to in the morning. Perhaps, the only gripe was that I would have very much preferred to not be scrounging for more food after a $28 breakfast.


The other item they had on menu that we thought was pretty well done, though in an unexpected manner was their corned beef hash which was a sort of baked casserole of eggs, onions, potatoes, corned beef and Gruyere cheese. The attention to each component on plate was noteworthy. Very much enjoyed their toasted rye which seemed to have a cheesy crust thing.

Friday, June 22, 2012

SSC chicken rice from The Palms


Having had this (yes, the menu does call it SSC Chicken Rice) over a few times, I have to admit that this (45 Tanjong Rhu Road, inside Singapore Swimming Club, tel : +65 6342 3679) was one of those chicken rice that I thought wasn't too bad at all. To the point that this would be one of those servings that I would recall if I had to list the memorable ones that I didn't mind going back for. Of course, having had Sin Kee (probably about 10 visits over the past year) has really raised the bar for the benchmark that every other chicken rice has been used as a comparison, but has never quite met up against.

What I liked here were the tender cuts of the deboned thigh and their limey chilli (still not on par with the one from Tian Tian). The rice belonged to the camp where the flavors were more subtle and the grease wasn't as heavy. That part was also probably one of the elements that isn't quite consistent as I remember the grainy textures being fluffier sometimes and dryer another. Still, a very viable alternative to tide over cravings.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Brunch @ Artichoke


This was a very enjoyable brunch from the folks at Artichoke who seem to be doing very well for themselves, judging from the crowd. I liked that the food had its identity and the attempt a local sourcing produce ingredients has made a very good showcase of what ever little produce we actually grow in this country. Namely the mushrooms and the eggs that I know of.

If I had to pick some things about what I liked about the food, the scrambled eggs were smooth, tasty and generous in portions. I did like their maple glazed smoked bacon chop which certainly lived up to the moniker of meat candy. Certainly enjoyed the open faced lamb ham sandwich over flat bread that had impeccably timed sunny side ups for dips and both pickles and crumbled feta for flavors.

Will come back. 



 


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thai red curry chicken from The Canteen


For the few times that I've been down to The Canteen (1 Scotts Road, #01-01B Shaw Centre, tel : +65 6738 2276), I have always discounted this item and never gave it more than a cursory glace on the menu. The reason is I tend to be skeptical about any Thai whatevers when it's not done by a Thai establishment. This time round, I saw the red curry chicken across the table next to mine and decided that it looked pretty good.

I'm actually pretty impressed. The viscous and rich tasting gravy possessed a spicy kick I had not expected and definitely made an awesome companion to the rice that they gave. Something else to look forward to here other than the X.O. lou shi fan and laksa after all.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Porridge King, Upper Thomson Road


This was a bit of an unusual spot down at Upper Thomson Road (906F Upper Thomson Road , tel : +65 66005405) along a stretch of old shophouses. The place, Porridge King is apparently run by a bodybuilding Alvin Koh whom was also known as the Naked Chef. Press articles are plastered all over the front of the establishment.

What made the place unusual was also the crimson stained decor, golden framed mirrors and the plastic furnishing that made the place feel like a cafe or a watering hole rather than a joint known for Chinese porridge. I was challenged to link the place to the food.

To credit, their Supreme century egg porridge was pretty well done. I liked the savory flavors and thick gruel consistency, along with the fact that it was filled quite generously with bits of both century and salted eggs, shredded bits of chicken and conpoy. There was a bunch of small bites including to my dismay, some battered deep fried prawns that were neither deshelled nor de-veined. Altogether greasy in an unappealing manner that was disappointingly lacklustre. In honestly, it wasn't too appealing at all and the porridge was definitely the only thing going on here that was good.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Salta re-visited


There wasn't any thing much for me to add since I've previously mentioned how I felt about their rib eye and apparently, it was consistent at that. It seems that now, there are flavored butter options which one can include and this jamon iberico butter strangely tasted like it had blue cheese in it. Had definitely enhanced the flavors of the grilled meat there, though not exactly in ways I had expected.

What impressed us this visit was their smoked tomato soup which I do not think was available the last time. The smoked aroma was quite impressively well bodied in a cream base that was non too heavy and redolent in the flavors of the tomato. Bonus points goes to the thin crisp of garlic and cheese toast. This as a personal note, will be something I'll come back for again. That and their very nicely done up garlic mashed potato which was surprisingly addictive.

Avoid their beef burgers. For a place professing in grilled meats, the patties were atrociously bad.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chicken Up, Tanjong Pagar


Over the course of the past decade, the strip along Tanjong Pagar road has evolved more than a little in with an array of non local food options. Noticeably so if I might say. We've experience a share of French (Gavroche, L'Entrecote), a smattering of Italian (Buko Nero, Etna, Latteria Mozzarella Bar, Pasta Brava), Japanese (Inaho's Kitchen Bar, Keisuke Tonkotsu King) and the occasional Chinese and even Australian. We obviously haven't had the time to explore them all. Most notably, Korean restaurants (Kko Kko Nara, ChoWon Garden) have really mushroomed in this stretch.

So Chicken Up (48 Tanjong Pagar Road, #01-01, tel : +65 6327 1203) happened to be another one of those Korean restaurants that have been around (duration unbeknownst to me) that had caught my attention lately. Apparently, as the name might have also suggested, they specialise in chicken. Fried chicken. Given my limited experiences with Korean fried chicken, I'm going to go out on a limb to tip my hat to them for doing a darn good job.

I'm talking meaty birds with impeccably crispy batter that didn't hold the slightest amount of excessive grease along with tender white flesh that were literally dripping with juices. It's really pretty much what I've described.


What we didn't expect to discover in a fried chicken joint was an item on menu described as fresh blood soup. That was, essentially a spicy vegetable and cow blood broth with chunks of bouncy textured (imagine fishcakes) blood that was a blast of spicy and umami. I liked that the vegetables were well boiled to the point where it was soft yet lightly crunchy still. Together with the soup, perfect with the soft sticky rice they served.

Dislikes? Banchan while waiting would have been great, but instead what they had was a forgettable free flow of salad. Air conditioning also needs work.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Two Blur Guys, Tanjong Pagar


This looks to be a relatively new joint for burgers and pastries down at Orchid Hotel (1 Tras Link, Orchid Hotel) facing the Tanjong Pagar market. Run by Jimmy Chok.

They have a prime beef burger (for $12.50) that's stacked with gruyere and slapped with a little truffle mayo that was honestly pretty good. The meat was both flavourful and running with juices, cooked with a nice amount of char aroma and crust on the outside. The only little gripe was the truffle mayo. The truffle flavour was a little too mild and they should consider adding a lot more for impression/intimidation or not at all since this burger was actually good enough on its own.  Duck rillette sandwich was cold and very salty.

I'm probably dropping by again sometime.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Yummy Recipes, Cresent @ Kallang

 

This was quite a bit of food that we ordered at Yummy Recipes (7 Kallang Pudding Road, #01-08, tel : +65 6636-0603). And a surprisingly well done up decor for a restaurant located in an industrial region. 

In my own interest of making this short and sweet, here were some of the mention worthy.
  • Roasted pork belly was good with crispy crackling and tender meat. It wasn't very fatty.
  • The fried rice both had excellent texture, but the olive rendition didn't quite taste enough of olives and the pork belly one smelt a lot nicer than there were flavours.
  • Sucking pig was pretty good, but nothing comparable to those in Hong Kong.
  • Pig stomach soup was pretty good with a strong peppery flavour. But I heard it was thickened by cornstarch.
  • Assam curry fish head was awesome. It was a rich creamy curry, robustly flavoured with the sour from probably both assam and pineapples that were cooked in them. That viscous curry was vibrant from the fruits, not flat. Only gripe was for $25, there was only half a fish head. Expensive. This was included in the menu as a local dish option, not a specialty from their Shanghainese chef obviously.
  • Crispy noodles with seafood was very tasty as well. Generous portions of egg and seafood.
 
roasted pork belly

olive fried rice

pork belly fried rice

appetizer platter

suckling pig

double boiled soup of chicken stuffed in pig's stomach


Penang assam curry fish head

obligatory greens
crispy fried noodles with seafood

stir fried mee sua

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Island Cafe, Tangs Orchard

 
I was first introduced to this place (310 & 320 Orchard Road, Level 4 TANGS Orchard, tel : +65 6311 3424) which serves, what many would describe as atas local food, years ago by a friend and since then I've only been here a few times. With said friend. In all that few times, I've only ever ordered the crayfish laksa. Recommendations of said friend. Until today.


Honestly, the crayfish laksa was pretty heart clogging good. Rich coconut infusion into the moderately spicy broth. Tau pok, slices of fish cake, quail eggs. And of course, crayfish that wasn't obscenely tiny and also not overcooked. One could taste the sweetness from the flesh still.
 

Their Penang char kuey teow was pretty decently done plate of stir fried noodles. Well fried, not too soggy, laced with fresh tasting ingredients, probably not like how it is done in Penang but a rather good local rendition. Probably a little mild in the department of flavors.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Breakfast at Club Street Social


The crostinis were excellent. Imagine chilled creamy ricotta with a slice of briney anchovy and a sprinkle of citrus salt. All that on top of crispy sliced toast. The flavors brought together pretty much screamed 'Japanese!' for me.

Lobster bisque was actually pretty decent. Served hot and with enough of that crustacean flavors without being luxuriant like the rendition from Morton's with cream and brandy. Unfortunately the truffle egg toast was woefully inadequate for flavor and their ribeye panini featured meat that was both nicely done medium rare but yet very lacking in the natural flavors of the beef. For a moment, I was torn about how to feel about the sandwich, but I think I will probably never order it again.







Saturday, June 02, 2012

ChoWon Garden, Peck Seah Street


I've been wanting to drop by this place (2 Peck Seah Street, #01-01 Air View Building, tel : +65 6225 1317) for dinner for quite some time. Tonight finally happened.


It starts as usual, with a selection of banchan. We didn't get any refills this time round. Not that any was really needed.


Notable mentions goes to the jaeyuk bosam kimchi, which was marinated pork belly with kimchi. The latter slices of pork was served piping hot while the kimchi (which contained a few raw oysters) was almost ice cold. The chilled kimchi from this dish was stronger in flavor than the crunchier ones from the banchan which felt less fermented. Eaten with the slices of pork, the flavors altogether became different than if one were to eat either the pork or the kimchi separately. Couldn't really describe how it was, but we thought the synergy of flavors was unexpectedly good.


There was a dish of fried oyster battered in egg which was decent if rather ordinary. They tasted like how they looked.


ChoWon Garden has what they describe as a Korean spicy sausage soup call sundae kuk. It was served bubbling hot and the broth was redolent with a heavy umami flavor that was probably infused by what seems to be tang hoon stuffed sausage (amidst some other stuff that looked like it might be blood) and bits of fatty, some chewy, some crunchy and cartilage like bits of unknown parts that had been simmering in the spicy broth. It was very delicious.

Certainly wouldn't mind revisiting again sometime in spite of the fact that air conditioning can barely be felt.