Thursday, November 30, 2017

Another meal at Luka

I couldn't decide if I liked Luka from the first visit so we came back again to try some more of their food. For some reasons I had decided not to write them off just yet.


I'm starting to gain acceptance of the fact that Luka does is their rendition of Italian food. No it wasn't a simple matter of Italian food done by Japanese nor was it Italian food with Japanese influences. Take the crab arancini for example. It's more like a cream croquette than a real arancini. Crispy shell with creamy crabby flavours. Not much rice. So little that it cannot be regarded as an actual arancini as such. Flavour's not bad though.


We ordered their pizza Americano. Supposedly house made sausages were involved but those sausages that came with the pizza didn't look very house made. Great quality mozzarella, a not too tart base of tomato sauce on a chewy crust and interestingly - it tasted pretty good with all those fries. I noticed that a bunch of their pizzas were simply their Magherita with additional toppings. This one included. Notice the basil.


Their agnolotti is apparently a signature dish. Little dumplings filled with minced veal. It wasn't bad but it's not going to end up in my list of favourites. More cheese for would be great. 


Didn't like their tiramisu. There was a slick quality to their mascarpone layer like maybe it had just that tiny bit of gelatine in the mixture that lost it an airy texture. Couldn't taste any alcohol in it so that's a sin right there. My opinion is that it's overpriced for what it was, Luka's version or not.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Re-revisiting Restaurant Manchurian (满族全羊铺)


Here's back to the only Chinese lamb specialist that we know of right along the touristy grease perfumed Chinatown Food Street.


We spied mala lamb tongue on the menu which we didn't notice before in our previous visits. The mala spices were rather subdued. There's an aroma but not so much heat. Most of the sliced tongue was tender and delicious while some parts had bits of cartilage in them. Totally delicious with those toasted peanuts. Portions were kinda large for two though. 


One of the reasons for coming back was for their barbecued lamb skewers. These seemed to have gotten chunkier though and appeared to be much more like our local satay with pieces of meat and chunks of fat between some of the meat. I've never had Chinese yang rou chuan like these. Definitely felt different compared to the first time we had them here.


Another one of the reasons for this visit was to get those skewered tendon. I'm still not sure why/how these are tendons. They also appear to be chunkier than the last time we encountered them. Some parts were a little dry and hard. Definitely tastier previously. Something/someone must have changed along the way.


This was one occasion where being adventurous didn't really pay off. We had some of their barbecued lamb kidneys. The livery offal flavour was intense and the spices couldn't help mask that intensity. Not getting these again for sure.


And of course some vegetables in a feeble attempt to balance our meal that was meat heavy. This wok of stir fried cabbage tasted not much like the last time too. Pretty sure it wasn't the same standards as the cook from our previous visits. I sure hope that things haven't headed for a downturn permanently.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

More mazeudon-ing at Tamoya Udon


Tamoya has come up with a bunch of differently flavoured mazeudon. Presumably, it's a follow up to the reception of their mixing udon. From what we could see from the neighbouring tables, these seemed to be equally well liked. Their oooh mami udon was especially umami (insert groan). Much more so than their other bowls which were already umami in general. Enhanced much by the ebiko (or was that tobiko), bonito flakes and dried sakuri ebi.


They also have a pesto bowl - with pesto that was oddly made with some coriander. Coriander normally drives me away but this particular pesto was....balanced. The flavour from the herb wasn't overwhelming like how it normally is and after a while, I even enjoyed it. Strange but true.

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 tsukemono 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.