Saturday, November 25, 2017

A truffle mushroom beef burger from Foodsmith

These guys are the western food stall in the food court at Liang Court (177 River Valley Road). Their burger was surprisingly very edible stuff featuring a coarse ground beef patty that wasn't marinated to death and looked like it had been smashed onto the grill. For some reasons, the words "Bizzaro version of Omakase Burger" formed in my head.

Toasted buns, meat with some proper sear and fried mushrooms. Totally unheard of in local western food previously. While it wasn't the most beefily flavourful of patties, these guys aren't charging very high prices neither. I think they would go a long way if they would just swap out those pale looking lettuces for something more green.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Truffle mille feuille katsu and katsuo tataki from Tonkatsu by Ma Maison

In spite of being adulterated in these past years, truffle flavours still sell so now and then, I stumble into a pothole for one of them things. Tonkatsu by Ma Maison has their a mille feuille katsu stuffed with truffle. It's one of those end of the year seasonal items that came with truffle salt and what they described as truffle chips. That's those black flakes on top which were kinda chewy. More like truffle jerky if you asked me. But the mille feuille katsu was ultimately still tender and tasty. 

I liked their katsuo tataki though. Sure it wasn't tataki as one would conventionally expect, but the mouthfeel was good from the chunkiness while the torching gave a slightly smoky aroma. Great pairing for munching with those chopped negi and shoyu.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Open Farm Community, Minden Road

Been meaning to visit Open Farm Community (130E Minden Road, tel : +65 6471 0306) for quite a while. While the names of many restaurants could be frivolous, abstract, meaningless or whatever, it's actually a theme for OFC. The restaurant is what could be described as a locavore - as much of that can be achieved and grows a bunch of their own herbs/vegetables. That on top of their claims of the use of sustainable urban farming methods, farming education and the hosting of farmer's markets in the weekends. I've never used the word 'farm' so much in a single paragraph.  

Obviously, the Suntory Malt Dark isn't local or farmed. But it was a good drink for the sweltering heat which seemed to not fully relent even in the air conditioning of the restaurant. Chilled smoky chocolate bitters. Nice.

Warm broccoli salad was good too. Flavours were clean, richen by the goat's cheese.

This came from the menu of the OFC X Paris Popup collaboration called Kampung French. It's a current "French styled cooking with local ingredients" event. The menu called these froggets. The bill itemized them as Mcfroggets. They're just fried frog legs that came with a sweet and salty fish sauce thing. Six pieces, the menu mentioned. Three thighs and three calves was what they meant. 

The crust on those legs were crispy but because of the size of those legs, it's a little higher on the crust to meat ratio than I would prefer. Not sure what's French about these though.

We tried their lamb scotch eggs because they were lamb scotch eggs. Meat was robustly spiced. The word that came to mind to describe the flavour was 'Indian'. Here's the thing, the spices weren't bad. But I like my lamb to taste like lamb so this one didn't do the trick. 

There was a mud crab tagliolini that was awesome (also from the collab menu). This wasn't just a simple mud crab in pasta. The menu mentioned bisque which I couldn't really see. But there was a flavour akin to crab oil or essence that were infused into the noodles, perfumed gently by lemongrass. A little pricey for the portions but it was delicious. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A chicken kopi O from Old Chang Kee

I was curious after passing by Old Chang Kee seeing that they have a coffee flavoured chicken puff. The flavour's in the sauce with the fillings. New and gimmicky but I was intrigued. Look at the silly grin.

The lady at the stall said it's good and especially good for those who like coffee. I took that with a pinch of salt. It does have some coffee flavour. Less than what I was hoping for but then again, I'm someone who expects at least half espresso level (make of that what you will) of aroma when coffee flavoured whatever is mentioned.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A chicken nanban teishoku at Suju

As the title goes, I had a tori nanban teishoku at Suju. I can't say that I do tori nanban much but since Japanese tartare sauce agrees with me and even their tori karaage was good, I thought it would be worth a try. This was also our first time sitting at the counter.

So it all started with a wait while nursing a glass of Suntory.

There seemed to be some sort of skin on the tori nanban. I'm not quite sure what it was through the sauce but I thought it might have been dipped in egg before frying. The meat was from the thigh - tender, a little fatty and dripping with juices. 

Their tartare sauce was a more refined rendition - all the ingredients were of a fine mince. That's not a good or bad thing. It's just their thing I suppose.

The pickle on the side with their rice is no longer the cabbage/ginger. It's now crunchy pickled daikon. Yay!

And because it was such an enjoyable lunch, I decided to end it with their annin tofu.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Revisiting Smiths at Balmoral

This was a craving that came about after a recent unsatisfactory episode with fish and fries so we came by for some proper fish and chips at Smiths. It seems that they've upgraded to a nicer looking menu with a little bit of changes and there're also selling Melton Mowbray pork pies now. So here's haddock and chips and fried sausage. Still as good as I remember them, washed down with some hauntingly good beer.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Le France pear from Yamagata at Takashimaya's Japan Fair

We came across this booth at the Japanese Fair this weekend that sold those Le France pears which we had bought in the past. Nope, can't remember from whence. But we recalled that there were good so we popped a couple of those samples they were giving out. These were exactly like we remembered them. A fruity and clear salty sweet with a fragrance. So we bought a pack of four.

Re-revisiting Nirai Kanai

Came by Nirai Kanai for dinner after some groceries at Meidi-ya. A glass of grapefruit beer to slake the thirst while waiting for the food to be served.

These were some sort of deep fried taco spring rolls with minced beef and cheese. Freshly fried and piping hot. I didn't dislike them but I don't think I'll be interested in eating them again.

We got a large serving of their chanpuru this time round. This stuff is pretty good if you didn't already know.

There's chahan with mustard greens. Tasted pretty much like how it looked. Simple and pretty satisfying. More mustard greens would be nice too.

They do pretty tasty fried somen with mustard greens too. I liked that those noodles were sufficiently salted and their thin firm textures definitely agreed with me.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Publico Deli, Nanson Road

Not really sure what's the background behind Publico (Level 1 InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay, 1 Nanson Road). They're a three establishment setup with the deli (or so they claim), a ristorante which is probably opened by now and a bar - with a website that's more style than substance. While the theme is Italian, I'm not so sure how much of their food really are. 

The deli does have a sparkling espresso. A what? You read it right the first time. Espresso with fizz and a sprig of mint to go with. It's actually pretty enjoyable, thanks to the coffee.

We had their Mediterranean Scramble. Scrambled egg whites, apparently free-ranged and kale on sourdough with grilled chicken breast. Not that I could tell that it was free-ranged but the eggs and kale were kinda nice. Those chicken tasted like they were cooked, frozen and then popped into the microwave. Pretty generous portions of meat but not very nice to eat.

But their beetroot salad was delicious. Roasted beetroot with what appeared to be beetroot puree with goat's cheese on toast sprinkled with a little fresh thyme. 

That goat's cheese on toast became even better with a generous drizzle of honey. We had to ask for the honey which the restaurant obliged. It didn't come with the beetroot. I'd eat this again.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Tsuta Japanese Soba Noodles, Pacific Plaza

Much had already been said about Tsuta (#01-01 Pacific Plaza, 9 Scotts Road, tel : +65 6734 4886) and its world's only Michelin starred ramen parentage from Tokyo so none further of that is going to be printed here. The queue as I've heard/read was quite mad at the start but nature took its course to normalise things. Not much of a queue this particular evening; we barely waited for five minutes before we got a seat. 

New on their menu was a kamo abura soba and a kamo paitan soba which were said to be new bowls to commemorate the passing of their first anniversary in Singapore. This above was the kamo abura soba - no soup and tossed in their mixture of duck oil and shoyu...perhaps also amongst other secrets that might not have been revealed. This was pretty good. The noodles were slick from the duck oil and texturized by the crunch from bits of cashew and diced yellow onions. I thought the noodles had a umami nuttiness to it. 

The portions were kinda small though. If I had realized that it was only two slices of that duck, I would have gotten additional.

This was their shoyu bowl which had tongues wagging. There was some truffle in it. It was a nice amount of truffle that added to the bowl rather than destroy the broth. Very easy to drink and enjoyable as well. Noodles were thin. Charshu was thin sliced, tender and had a nice texture from the grains of the meat.

I'll definitely be back to try more another time. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Green goddess pizza and fish & chips from PS Cafe Petit

The last time we were here, we noticed a number of neighbouring tables with their Green Goddess pizza. Peas, beans, spinach and capsicum. I'm not usually a fan of the latter. The flavour doesn't resonate well with me but I didn't mind them on this pie because it wasn't very strong. With the bits of goats cheese, it was delicious. And that roasted sambal to go with the cornicione is definitely starting to grow on me.

We also picked up a fish and fries chips this time. Fish was white, firm and flaky. Red snapper the menu said. It wasn't bad per se. But it's also not Smiths or Oxwell's. Still, it was quite edible and definitely way overpriced for the portions and quality.  

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Tiong Bahru Fried Kway Teow, Tiong Bahru Market FC

We had previous tried the other char kuey teow stall nearby so we thought to give this a chance too. This particular stall has been around (#02-11, 30 Seng Poh Road) judging from the news clippings at their front so there's the possibility that I might have had it some time in the past...decades? Anyways, it looked very light. We were expecting it to be in a more luxuriant coat of dark soy sauce. It would not be untrue to say that were a little disappointed by the appearance.

But good news was, it tasted much better than it looked. Even though there was probably no lard in it. There was more flavour than the colours suggested and in the end, we liked it. Even those usually neglected lup cheong were well fried and flavoursome.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tian Bao Szechuan Kitchen (天寶閣), Ngee Ann City

In the span of the past year or so, we've walked by this Szechuan styled restaurant (#05-06/07 Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road, tel : +65 6734 4216) a few times and have always wondered if they were any good. They have quite a variety on menu and some of those items have been such a common find here that I wonder if this was truly Szechuan or localized Szechuan.  

In an attempt to get some greens and fibre into our diet, rolls of lettuce leaves bound with strips of cucumber with a sesame dip. The thick nutty dip was unexpectedly sweet. For some reasons, I had been expecting something savoury. Tasted better after it was mixed with some vinegar and chilli oil.

I forgot what this was called but it's marinated chicken in chilli oil. Kinda like the spicy version of Shaoxin marinated chicken with the aroma of Szechuan peppercorn.

Dan dan mian. Nutty, meaty and I suppose it was okay-ish.

That's spinach with three eggs. Albeit a slightly different rendition from what's usually available. This one had century and quail eggs. The salted egg component came in the form of the sauce. 

We tried their steamed dumplings with pork and spinach. With the exception of the spinach component, these actually tasted like xiao long bao sans the "juice". I found them agreeable.

And then there was gong bao prawns that came with loads of cashews. Cashews that I wished had been toasted for their aroma before they were stir fried into the dish. Wasn't bad at all but I had been imagining a more luxuriant sweetness and heat that this one didn't quite live up to.

Monday, November 13, 2017

A lunch at Grand Copthorne Waterfront

We had originally wanted to check out Grissini which had replaced Pontini at Grand Copthorne (392 Havelock Road), but those guys didn't do weekend lunches. Why the hell would they not do weekend lunch? That makes poor economical sense there.

But - the lounge menu included pizza which comes from Grissini. No lunch service, but provides pizza to the hotel lounge. Here's the salami pizza featuring their truffle salami. Decent pizza, needs more salami.

The outstanding item was their Super Laksa. That's what they called it. Primed with nuggets of fried lobster, fried scallops, prawns, fish cake and tau pok. Not forgetting the heart clogging and smile inducing richness from their tasty rempah used for the gravy. But why no quail eggs?!

I'm not going pretend that this bowl was not expensive. Exorbitant even by some considerations. But we were happy with it. Till the last drop.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Nasi lemak from Swensons

There are apparently a couple of outlets of Swensons that have the Asian menu with nasi lemak. This was from ION Orchard (2 Orchard Turn). While it was not outstanding, it's argueably decent quality considering the dismal standards of most nasi lemak these days. Would have been much nicer if they had bothered to toast the peanuts and ikan bilis before using them.