Monday, October 31, 2016
This was a brunch at Meatsmith. Everyone succumbs to brunch. Especially businesses. We have the lazy weekenders. I'm one myself so I don't judge. And smart businesses that caters to those lazy weekenders. So Meatsmith does brunch too like most other ang moh places that survive in the harsh rental economy of the country. But unlike many of the clones of clones, Meatsmith stuck with their own identity. One with a Southern and bbq personality.
Their brisket and eggs were nice. Those briskets were fall apart tender and rather flavourful especially along the fatty and charred edges. If I had to criticize, it'll be the doneness of those sunny side ups - they weren't over easy.
We liked their biscuits. A little dense, a little sweet and also crispy. A little more generosity with their country gravy is definitely in order but otherwise no complains with the accompanying porky sausages and scrambled eggs.
Sunday, October 30, 2016
We had lunch at the bistro because we paid a visit to the butchery. I wanted to order their leberknedelsuppn again, but the Oktoberfest menu is no longer being served. #sad
These guys do pretty good lamb chops. It's the same Australian lamb that they sell at the meat section. The cooking was quite spot on, nothing fancy and that's usually how we like our lamb chops.
I've seen people order their spicy Italian pork sausage which is served in a brioche like a hot dog. Sensitive word for tubed meat in between buns for our neighbours up north these days but I digress. The sausage tasted quite like chorizo, albeit a less intense version of it. The brioche wasn't very buttery and I guess it was just too dry and crumbly for a hot dog bun. It started falling apart at almost every bite.
Huber's plum cake is pretty good. Quite a bit of the fruit on a light cake served with cream on the side. This stuff was pretty much the crumble that we had in their Oktoberfest menu sans the crumble part.
We needed to go Mustafa again and we stopped by Saravanaa Bhavan for a later than usual dinner. Sadly, their rice meals which I was looking forward to are only available in the late morning/afternoon part of the day so I ordered this paneer briyani because I didn't really feel like anything else. This turned out to be much better than I had expected. There was quite a bit of fragrance from the spices in the briyani, some nice warmth from the heat and I thought there was even a measure of smokiness in there. Awesome, so now I know this would be a place I can get a fix the next time I feel like having another.
Saturday, October 29, 2016
I've eaten at Soup Restaurant infrequently throughout the past years. For some reasons, they have never been mentioned in this blog, so here's some thoughts.
Their samsui ginger chicken can be considered their mainstay dish. Poached chicken, lightly seasoned after cooking and served with their ginger sauce and lettuce. Lettuce which serves as wraps for the chicken. I quite like it, but I've never had it with the ginger sauce. As a testimony to their preparation, even the breast meat is tender.
Though the place is called Soup Restaurant, I've never thought much of their soup. In recent times, they've started offering coconut soup. Ingredients which are cooked with coconut juice. These are quite nice. The one above was featured with black chicken.
The standards of their sweet and sour pork varies, but the cut of the meat used is quite good. The fat is layered in the meat so there aren't any parts that are just isolated fat. The better outlets do pretty nice ones - crisp on the outside, reasonably tender meat and the sauce isn't overly sweet or excessive. In the other outlets they are......simply not mention worthy.
The vegetable dish which they are quite well known for are their stir fried sweet potato leaves. They taste like most Chinese stir fried greens.
I was introduced to their fried fish belly just this year. Often acknowledge as one of the best if not the best part of the fish. The fish belly is deep fried for a crisp exterior before a stir fry with the sauces which are kinda absorbed onto the surface of the fried fish. This stuff is pretty good.
Tofu. Rough on the outside, tender and smooth on the inside. Quite nice.
We tried their mushroom bao because it was curious. The buns were made to look like mushrooms - similar to the char siew bao from East Bistro. Soup Kitchen has up the ante by making even the stem of the mushrooms. They looked more like stubby knobs than actual stems. These are filled with chopped mushrooms.
Because there are a number of outlets, the cooking standards vary. I haven't visited much of them but if anyone were to ask me, I'd recommend the one at Toa Payoh Central.
Friday, October 28, 2016
A quick one for a recent revisit to El Mero Mero. We skipped the starters and headed straight for some of their tacos and Josper grilled mains.
But it didn't mean that we wouldn't take advantage of some of their magaritas during the happy hour. The one with the dried orange in the background was done with mezcal, tasted like it was more potent and was smoky.
These are their Kurobuta al pastor sans cilantro. From what I could gather, the fillings are supposed to be vertical spit roasted meat and shaven off much like shawarma. Didn't look like it, the flavours were spicy with some heat and in my opinion, wasted with so much ongoing flavours on Kurobuta pork. While I rather enjoyed the tacos, I didn't think there was a point to the choice of meat.
And those are a second take on their Dorper lamb tacos which we had previously. Delicious stuff.
This was our first roasted poblano pepper. Looked a little progressive if you know what I mean.
There were grilled corn in the pepper and the creamy stuff might have been made with corn. Can't be sure of it. Couldn't figure out what was the white powder but I'm guessing powdered cotija cheese?.
Grilled octopus. The corn cream that it was resting on tasted like it had some cheese in it which made it really delicious. Those black smudges on the plate were black garlic paste, also nicely paired into the dish. It seems that there's been some good grilled octopus dishes going around the restaurants in recent years.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
The last time we were here, we noticed that they had a lamb pizza so we came back to see if it was any good. It's our first lamb pizza. This time round, we picked their "Neapolitan" pizza base to compare. Interestingly because of that base and the choice of the lamb pizza with its seasonings, this pizza which was chewier bready-ier tasted like a naan - or possibly even something northern Chinese like a bread from a region like Xi'an. What could have been improved were the actual thin slices of lamb which were dried out and almost deprived of the meat's natural flavours.
There was peanut butter fries with bits of bacon. This was actually better than I had imagined.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
So I finally got down to Keisuke's Kani King ramen shop (#01-03 Cathay Cineleisure Orchard, 8 Grange Road, tel : +65 6262 6968) in town and gotten myself a bowl of their crab broth ramen with rich soup. Medium flavours and oil with hard noodles. From what they had mentioned, their kani broth is made from swimming crabs and chicken bones. I wonder what are actually those swimming crabs that were used. With all that flavour and sediments, this broth was some butter, a splash of milk and a dash of brandy away from being an actual crab bisque. I thought the crustacean-y flavour were pronounced and quite enjoyable.
For what it's worth, I didn't think so much of the similar kani ramen bowl I had previously down at Keisuke Tokyo which could have been the predecessor to this current rendition. That might just have been the version 1.0 of things just like how their ise ebi ramen could have been a market test for the viability of the Lobster King.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
An overdue revisit to Brasserie Gavroche. Have been wanting to come back for a while now.
The bread is pretty nice. There's a hard crusty exterior above the soft chewy insides. Flavour is wheaty. Good with the butter, plain while mindlessly chewing or to mop up sauces from their plates. Tonight, they were constantly topping up as soon as they saw the basket empty. We went through three baskets.
We had a mâche salad with lamb sweetbread. I don't do salads very often but this I had to order because, sweetbread. The exterior of the offal was nicely browned, Malliard reaction creating the so tasty flavour which by the way, pairs up rather nicely with their onion confit vinaigrette on the greens. Délicieux.
Onion soup was kinda boring though. I think more cheese would be great and there was a lot more sweetness from the onions than savoury from the other ingredients. The stock didn't taste like it was made with beef broth. Having said that, it wasn't a bad onion soup. It just wasn't my kind.
Welsh lamb saddle was very nicely done. The accompanying pink garlic confit was sweet and delicious while the mash potatoes were creamy. Delicious jus too. I'd eat this again easily.
Here's their rump steak made with Irish grass fed Angus. One of the cuts of beef that I haven't ordered very much or at all. It was definitely not ribeye tender, but a lot more tender than I had imagined. Meat was grainy and the beefiness was of a lower and perhaps.....less ethereal quality. I think many people would simply dismiss it as being gamey flavoured. Not bad but it was just good for an experience. The green peppercorn sauce was nice though.
I didn't think this was a good tarte tartine. The pastry was flat, more like filo rather than puff pastry and it wasn't very buttery at all. The apples were nice but that was all to it. Maybe these guys just aren't great with desserts. I remember feeling let down the last time too.
Monday, October 24, 2016
This came by a recommendation of a friend. The roast meats were generally passable with the exception of the char siew which was exceptional. That's all I should be saying. I didn't get the address but the exact location at Keong Saik Road is here.
Sunday, October 23, 2016
Came upon this stall (Lian Seng Eating House, #01-16, Blk 40 Beo Crescent) which is located along the same block as the nameless Hainanese curry rice. This was located in the other, only other coffee shop along the block and we thought vegetarian noodles sounded good for breakfast since we haven't had one of these for quite a while. It's the usual greasy fare. Nothing much changes with Chinese vegetarian bee hoon. But I suppose we liked it because it was relatively tasty and it's a flavour of nostalgia all the way back to the days when Tiong Bahru Market was an almost derelict dirt stained bunch of hovel market with leaky roofs. I remember eating vegetarian bee hoon in the market as a kid while watching old folks pair them with a bowl of gruel.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
We’ve been curious about Tsukada Nojo (#02-37 Chinatown Point, 133 New Bridge Rd, tel : +65 6444 8840) for almost as long as they have set up shop (and subsequently a few outlets). Their success by far has hinged largely on their bijin nabe - a beauty collagen hotpot. Certainly piques more than a little of curiosity.
Anyways, it’s a hotpot that’s done with their “golden collagen chicken stock”. A stock made with free range Jidori chickens from the Miyazaki prefecture in Kyushu. From what I read on their site, the chicken are stewed for 8 hours until their bones are dissolved. Said stock is then cooled into collagen puddings which pretty much forms the base broth.
Those puddings melt with heat from the induction stove built onto the tables. There's some chicken hidden in there as well.
And then a starter we ordered was served. Shredded steamed chicken with julienned cucumber, ume dressing and shiso. This was kinda nice.
The ingredients were pretty much the standard for all their hotpots. It seems that these guys have sourced local organic vegetables here. The only additional protein apart from the chicken are tsukune (chicken meat balls) and some prawns. Those prawns were really sweet by the way. One can of course top up with extras and add-on options. We stuck to the default since it was our first time.
A cup of the unadulterated broth ladled out for tasting. Good stuff.
Meat is removed from the broth before the rest of the hotpot ingredients are put in. Chicken was pretty tender. Works with their yuzu pepper if you don't know what to eat them with.
Simmer and wait and then eat.
We had a side order of spicy tori nanban. That spicy mayo packed a bit of heat and was pretty good.
Also on the side, they had some large tori shumai which was quite nice too.
Egg noodles were provided for the remaining broth as starch for the hotpot.
You know what? This visit turned out to be better than I had imagined. I certainly don't mind coming back again if I can catch one of those hours when the queue isn't so crazy.
Friday, October 21, 2016
This was our first time having food at Stuttgart Blackforest Boutique S-Café (9 Bras Basah Road #01-01 Rendezvous Hotel Gallery, tel : +65 6336 8675). Previously, we've only had cake and it's that cake.
We didn't get anything fancy. There wasn't anything fancy in the menu to be had anyway. That's a maultaschen, a dumpling - or as the menu described, meat pocket which was originated from Swabia, Germany. To put into a local perspective, this dumpling was similar a large beef siew mai in a broth.
The dumpling was filled with a solid hunk of minced meat and spices. Tasted delicious but the portions were a little small.
Here's spatzle, beef sausage and a tangy lentil stew. Noodles didn't have much in the way of seasoning but once it was tossed with the lentils, everything was appetizingly tasty. This was straighforward and quite satisfying.
We couldn't leave without a slice of their small and expensive Black Forest cake. Possibly one of the best of its kind on this sunny island.