Monday, December 31, 2018

Meatsmith Western BBQ, Makansutra Glutton Bay


I was intrigued by this stall (#01-15G Makansutra Gluttons Bay, 8 Raffles Avenue) after reading about them because it was a venture by Dave Pynt of Burnt Ends and the name of the stall was a also reference to his other joint Meatsmith - both of which are from Loh Lik Peng's Unlisted Collections.

I hadn't been to Glutton Bay for years. I didn't think much of them the last time I was here. It looked a little better these days. Prices have gone up and it still felt like it's meant for tourists.

Before I digress further - this stall was neither Meatsmith nor Burnt Ends. While those represented higher end barbeque somewhat and the obligatory name dropping had already been done, one shouldn't expect a similar standard. It's a hawker stall in a expensive touristy spot trying to do better than the regular western food stall.


The salted egg chicken chop was pretty good though. Not going to comment on the quality of the salted egg sauce beyond saying that it's not bad. The chicken was properly grilled with the prerequisite char aroma and some juiciness. Garlic rice was okay. Those sour that seeped from the pickled cucumbers actually elevated the rice. Too bad about the coriander. No idea why they had even thought that coriander would have made this any better.


Didn't think much of their suckling pig. I wouldn't eat this again. Meat was a stiff, dry and tasted like it was prepared hours ago to be reheated on serving. The texture of the skin was more hard than crisp. Nothing like the properly done Spanish or Chinese versions. Glutinous rice was okay. I found myself missing the ones from Ikea while eating this though. My thoughts speak hidden volumes. *gasp*

Since Makansutra's review was pretty positive, I will only attribute this experience of the food as either inconsistency or incompetency.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

PS. Cafe, Raffles City


PS Cafe has a spiffy location at Raffles City (#03-37, 252 North Bridge Road, tel : +65 6708 9288). We were here for a quick dinner. That dish on top was their Szechuan chilli pepper chicken fried rice. Didn't taste like fried rice to me. The gong bao sauce didn't pack much heat. While I don't know much about cooking, I'm pretty qualified to comment that those chicken that they used would have turned out much better if they had been stir fried rather than boiled. Nothing was caramelized and the cashews weren't toasted; the result was that much of flavour that made gong bao chicken simply didn't exist. While it didn't taste bad, it did feel like an imitation of a Chinese dish that felt stereotypically American Chinese.

But maybe that was their point.


Their hae mee was still outstanding like we remembered it. Probably the only food from this region that they did right by.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Aburi-EN, Tanjong Pagar Centre

The group En Holdings which runs Aburi-EN (#B2-09 Tanjong Pagar Centre, 7 Wallich Street, tel : +65 62143570) are probably disorganized or are hiding something rather than not being proud of themselves. They run a slew of restaurants like En Dining Bar, Z'enMonster Curry and En Sakabar to name a few so they've got to be doing something right. How all these restaurants were even related was information that took a little sniffing online.


But enough of that. Aburi-EN mostly does grilled kurobuta and Miyazaki wagyu donburi. That above was their premium yukke jyu which the menu described with lightly torched marinated wagyu strips. Gimmicky and we fell for it. Could taste the wagyu if the meat was eaten by itself. With the rice and anything else, it somehow magically crosses the too-much-flavour line where none of the wagyu-ism mattered because it couldn't be discerned. For what they charged, the yukke portion felt stingy. 


But their kurobuta hoho don was delicious. Most of it because of those nicely grilled fatty and tender slices of pork jowl. The kind that unimaginative people all over like to call "melt in your mouth" because they still think that they can appear marginally more knowledgeable that way. Of course it doesn't really melt in the mouth. It's meat. The fat to meat ratio isn't quite unbalance to that point. But one could feel that parts of it were dissolving away.


That's the sumibi tori yaki. The picture on the menu looked golden brown with nice looking burnt ends. This one looked carcinogenic. It even tasted carcinogenic. In a strangely addictive manner from that grilled infused aroma. I'd order this again.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Hotate yaki and unagi hitsumabushi from Man Man Unagi at Duo Galleria


The theme for the menu at the Man Man branch at Duo Galleria seems to be combo pairings with unagi for their hitsumabushi and teishoku. There's option for roast beef, salmon belly and even crab. Here's a grilled scallop and unagi hitsumabushi. The scallops were from Hokkaido and were grilled with just salt and pepper.


What I've basically confirmed for myself was that the grilled eels are of a different standard over here at Duo Galleria compared with the original shop at Keong Saik. The end product from this shop just didn't have that light-flaky-meat-under-well-caramelized-surface texture that made them outstanding in the first place. Today's unagi didn't even have those scorch marks like what I've always expected from them. Did they remove the wasabi root for the hitsumabushi as well? 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

A year end dinner at Keria Japanese Restaurant


It's feeling like Christmas at Keria.


Today's otoshi was simmered eggs and mushrooms.


Their sashimi moriawase for today was hotate, kanpachi and shima aji. The hotate was sweet and the shima aji tasted fatty.


Shirako is on the menu. We had them in tempura.


We had them grilled too. On hindsight, the grilled ones were much tastier. These came with ponzu on the side which was appetizing too.


I don't remember the last time we didn't order their mentaiko cabbage when we were here. Sweet, crunchy and mentaiko-y,


I had ordered the beef cubes thinking that they'd be pan fried with just pepper and salt and maybe a bit of shoyu. I'm not sure what's that sauce.


That's the raw egg with rice set.


Pour egg into rice.


Add a splash of shoyu to taste, give it a good stir and...


.....itadakimasu!


*burp!*

Monday, December 24, 2018

Dee Tongue Thai by Rung Mama, Golden Mile Complex


I've only heard about De Tongue Thai (#02-33 Golden Mile Complex, 5001 Beach Road, tel : +65 9626 1913) recently but according to their website, they've been operating since the 80s. The shop's location is at the corner of the second floor so I guess for the most of us who aren't regulars at Golden Mile Complex, they wouldn't have as much visibility as say Diandin Leluk.


We ordered their prawn porridge because it looked good on the menu. It didn't look much like that picture on their menu though. Those prawns were much smaller looking and this was akin to Teochew styled porridge which was basically rice in a broth rather than the congee style which I was thinking of. The broth had a sweetness and was deliciously garlic-ky.


Their yum mama talay was warm, tangy and appetizing. With a bit of heat. If the picture wasn't apparent, it's a noodle salad with seafood. Pretty tasty with the crushed peanuts that were available in their condiment cups on every table.


I liked their spicy mango salad too which was delicious with a spoonful of sugar and lots of crushed peanuts. Those helped with the acidity that's often found in such salads.


We had some fried pig intestines that came with very fragrant bits of fried garlic which were really good. These intestines were chewy, not in a bad way, and salted very lightly compared to the Chinese variety that can be found in porridge stalls.


Wanted to try their grilled pig's tongue but they were sold out. So we swapped that order for some snappy Isaan styled sausages which were stuffed with pork and rice and also garlicky. Don't mind coming back again.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Tteok galbi from SBCD Korean Tofu House


I ordered this because it looked nice on the menu (I know...) and thought it might be good since it was short rib patties. It didn't look like the picture on the menu for a start. All the caramelization for some strange reasons didn't bring with them much flavour or aroma. The patties weren't beefy tasting and their sweet marinate made sure that this death would never be followed by a resurrection. For 30 bucks! Sigh......

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Xin Heng Feng Guo Tiao Tan (新恆豐粿條攤), Whampoa Makan Place


It is time. To finally put a name to the mee pok stall which I like at Whampoa Market (#01-14/15 Whampoa Makan Place, 91 Whampoa Drive) after all these years. We haven't been back for quite a while so the good news for us was that the noodles have remained delicious. This serving was the smaller portion when I've only ever ordered the larger one previously. The stall isn't exactly a secret. There's always a queue and they do fish head steamboat at night which I've gathered is pretty popular.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Ayam Penyet President, Lucky Plaza


I wanted to see if these guys (#03-36/37 Lucky Plaza, 304 Orchard Road, tel : +65 6735 1262) were any good compared to Ayam Penyet Ria - turns out that it's been so long since Ayam Penyet Ria that I don't actually remember much apart from what I previously mentioned. So no comparisons.


Ayam bakar's pretty tasty thanks to the caramelization from the grill. I enjoyed it. Just didn't think it was so good that I'll crave for them anytime soon. The portions were a little small though and it could have been nice to have a half chicken option rather than just a thigh. That sauce on the side was their sambal with kecap manis.


Their ayam penyet's not bad too. These people know how to properly fry chicken without all the excessive grease. This sambal without the kecap manis did pack enough heat to get my lips burning and my scalp prickling.


These fried potato patties were known as potato frikkadel - If anyone noticed that the name sounded like begedil, they were pretty much the same thing. Not one of the better ones we've had, but no complains either.


Because we didn't order any vegetables, I thought some crunchy green mangos would be a good idea. It was. Though they tasted more like guavas than mangoes. That sauce on the side tasted suspiciously like another mixture of their sambal and kecap manis again. More of the latter than the former.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Burgers at The Market Grill


But first, a New England styled clam chowder to start. This was not bad. Chopped bits of shellfish in a creamy but not cloying garlic-ky broth.


I thought their bleu cheese burger wasn't bad. There was enough cheese, hence enough of that stinky presence while the walnut raisin held it up nicely. The Greg Norman from Black Tap still beats this though.


Market Grill's cod burger was unexpectedly good. The fish was smooth and buttery while those tomatoes were pretty garlic-ky. Almost a light as air sandwich between that parmesan bun.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Mei Wei Hainanese Chicken Rice, Tiong Bahru Food Centre


We came across this stall (#02-47, Tiong Bahru Food Centre, 30 Seng Poh Road) and saw that they had sesame chicken rice which reminded us of the ones we had previously at Shi Mei Hainanese Chicken Rice.

In retrospect, we liked the chicken rice at Shi Mei better. Much better. They had a nicer tasting sweet and spiced brown sauce which was leaps ahead of this gloopy one which I didn't like. Not to mention sesame chicken that wasn't so dry and chilli that was punchier. Even the garlicky rice was more enjoyable. This one wasn't bad to be fair. It just wasn't outstanding. 

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Re-visiting Blu Kouzina


It's been a couple of years since the last time we were here at Blu Kouzina.


Had some refreshing watermelon salad with feta while waiting for the rest of the food. While this wasn't the first time we've had watermelon and feta, I've just noticed more of how nicely they paired up.


We had their spanakorizo a few years ago back at their old premise at Bt Timah. Enjoyed it. It was more lemon-y than I remembered it but that was about all that was different. I was of the opinion that the dill made this dish then and still think it today.


Some grilled sardines that were pretty delicious.


And a roasted Cornish hen that had a nice chicken-y flavour zested up with lemon as well. The bird was reasonably tender and wasn't dried out.

Looking forward to coming back.