Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Kumamoto wagyu ramen from Seizan Uni Ramen

I've numerous thoughts as I tucked into this bowl. One of them questioned if Seizan actually staked any reputation behind Seizan Uni Ramen because this stall didn't feel like it housed the dedication and care that would be needed to earn their accolades. Pretty sure the lackadaisical  attitude of the guy behind the stall and his young appearances had nothing to do my impression of them and how their food was made.

Maybe it's a partnership where their name was used for branding and this was merely just another local business just like the other local shops in Picnic. Back to topic then.

Those briskets (I think) were pretty tender but not particularly flavourful. Nothing about the taste clued wagyu because it was unexceptional and lacking in flavour. Not much beefiness coming from the broth which was also honestly, pretty pedestrian. Noodles - nothing mention worthy. Not worth the $20 they charged.

In fact, I popped straight over to Tangs for one of these straight after because the bowl was so unsatisfying.

Considering the density of food blogs to square kilometre ratio this island has, it's shocking how little one can learn about new stalls because everyone's just ripping content off each other or regurgitating some marketing material.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Uni torobutsu meshi and more from Kuro Maguro

This uni torobutsu meshi was part of a current limited time J Passport promotion with Kuro Maguro. You get the discarded end cuts of toro in a rice bowl and for $4 more, they would top it up with a bit of uni. The uni didn't have good flavour and I wouldn't recommend it but their toro has always been very decent quality. Didn't matter that they were from the end bits.

Ankimo ponzu was available and I usually never refuse one of these. The remaining sauce with bits of ankimo and spring onions were good for drizzling over the torobutsu meshi.

Kinmedai was on the menu. We got a head grilled. Meat was delicious especially on the parts right at the base of the fins. Those were the chicken oyster or thigh equivalents on the kinmedai with dark meat. So delicious.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Revisiting Rumah Makan Minang

We've been wanting to come back to Rumah Makan Minang for a long time. It seemed that the wanting had being going on for the past nine years.

Rumah Makan Minang does serve brown rice. But whom are we kidding? We didn't come here for brown rice when the traditional nasi putih isn't broken. This stuff is tender and absorbs gravies well. Everything we ordered was good with the nasi putih.

Stir fried kang kong was okay. It's a dish that was what it was - mouthfuls of vegetable crunch flavoured by a little garlic and ikan bilis with just a bit of heat from the chillis. Not bad with rice.

Begedils here were awesomely peppery.

The gulai nanka, or curried jackfruit is much more tender than the ones from Minang House at Lucky Plaza. I'd pick this over the latter if I had to choose.

Very competent sambal goreng here. There was a particular sweetness perhaps which I couldn't put my finger to. But still addictively delicious especially with white rice.

Pretty decent ayam belado hijau. Wished the chicken were meatier though. The belado hijau itself was pretty salty so that's another solid reason for their nasi putih. I liked the flavour from the green chilli which oddly reminded me of a particular taste that can be found in green beans as well.

Spiced omelette. I never found out what was the proper name for these things. Not bad too. 

Their teh halia doesn't have much of that halia flavour so I'm sticking to the regular tarik drink the next time.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Another meal at Sin Hoi Sai

This was another late-ish dinner. While Sin Hoi Sai wouldn't exactly be what most people would categorize as "value for money", they were pretty consistent with the quality of their cze char and there're dishes here we like enough that we could revisit.

Had these fried prawns a couple of times. So far they've had the light batter crisp and dry which is how I like deep fried battering. Simple and pretty good eating which is also nice with their sambal belachan. A little pricey. 

Tried their boiled beef (肥牛) with fried garlic bits. The beef was fat laced and tender but for some reasons not beefy tasting at all. Not much flavouring from the fried garlic bits too so I'm not sure what to make of this. Will probably not order them again.

Their sambal petai for now and the foreseeable future is my favourite vegetable dish from them. Though I'm calling it a vegetable dish, it actually has minced pork.

Today's salted fish and minced meat tofu lacked that salted fish flavour that was more prominent the last time we had it. Hmmm....just as I was saying that they were consistent.

Friday, September 13, 2019

With art I choke

Artichoke just had their 9th anniversary some days back and had come up with a bunch of dishes to commemorate. Those items are - or should I say, were available for a short time on their menu. At least that's what they said. So we came over to try.

That's grilled halloumi, jackfruit, Thai basil and peanuts which felt like it was put together without much thought on if the flavours would synergise. It didn't taste bad. I just thought that the sum of its parts didn't exist and I was eating each item on its own.

We were particularly intrigued by something they called octopus donuts. 

It's a ball donut, sugar crusted and stuffed with octopus and chermoula. Interestingly tasty even though I couldn't detect any octopus. The stuffings tasted like spicy tomato sauce sardines from a can. And oddly enough, it worked at least for me, as a donut.

The other thing we had was their wagyu carpetbag kebab. Oysters wrapped in thin slices of wagyu in a pretty kickass oyster chowder. Tasty. I know Artichoke has always been about honest "dude food" and I'm clearly not in much of a position or experience to criticize their choice of ingredients as being poorly conceived, this was to me a poor use of the cow because it could have been any other decent quality beef and I wouldn't have been wiser.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Tonkatsu teishoku from Suju

I saw a neighbouring table order this previously and told myself I'd come back to try it. It was good. Dry crispy breading over a fat laced and moist rosu katsu. Even came dangerously close to enjoying their tonkatsu sauce. These guys could give Tonkatsu by Ma Maison a run for their money. 

While I have not had every teishoku in this country, I'm pretty sure that Suju has one of the best better ones. I'm glad that the oshinko is still their daikon. I hope this doesn't get swapped out.

Where Suju beats Tonkatsu by Ma Maison is the nama tamago. Tonkatsu doesn't have that.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

More food from Nirai Kanai

Another dinner at Nirai Kanai. We ended up here today because we had originally wanted to check out the dry aged steaks at The Ranch and they were out of dry aged beef.

We've had gyozas here before. Meaty juicy things.

Hamburg was peppery like I remembered it.

I got the cubic steak teishoku this time. Cubic steak = cubed steak. Meat's a little chewy and needs more flavour. I can only imagine that it was so lightly salted because they had wanted the accompanying dip to be used. I'd take salt over the dip. 

Monday, September 09, 2019

More roasts from Hong Kong Jin Tian

Came by for a quick lunch. Got myself roasted duck breast and roasted pork with boiled egg and rice. The duck breast meat was unexpectedly tender. Roasted pork was good that we ordered seconds. Hong Kong Jin Tian's rendition of that roasted pork was old school like their other roasts - which meant a particular balance of meat to fat to crackling that is of a different ratio from what some of the contemporary roasts are trying to achieve. Fat was tender, none of the "melt in your mouth" shit that wannabe influencers love writing about.

Personally, the downside to Hong Kong Jin Tian's food was the rice. A little dry and beady which isn't much on its own. There's the gravy for that but I'm generally not a fan of their gravy.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Nusa & Tara, ABC Brickworks Food Centre

I heard the lontong was good so we came down to try it at Nusa & Tara (#01-22 ABC Brickworks Food Centre, 6 Jalan Bukit Merah).  What did I think of it? It was pretty damn good. Tender boiled sayur soaking in flavourful gravy spiced up with a splash of sambal. Savoury, a little sweet and pretty lemak. Yes, I did sneak in a couple of bergedil with the order. I rank this rendition in the same leagues as Kampong Korner,

The stall has both nasi sambal goreng and nasi lemak so I did a nasi lemak sambal goreng. Coconut rice with their cream rendition of sambal goreng. And a fried egg, more serunding, some strips of fried tempeh and what appears to be achar. The dishes on the side may vary from day to day. Not bad but I'll pass on the nasi lemak for the nasi putih the next time. 

Thursday, September 05, 2019


I got this from the Indian Muslim stall at the Foodclique foodcourt (#01-132, 132 Jurong East Street 13). When I asked the proprietor what the greenish brown stuff (on the right) was, he merely replied that it was chicken liver. In retrospect, I'd call it masala chicken offal because I got two nicely tender and chewy hearts in there and some gizzards along with the livers. Not bad at all but I did wish that they'd chop up those gizzards in to smaller bites.

Still it made a comfortingly delicious and snooze inducing lunch with those beans, sambal boiled egg and fish curry over rice.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

More food from Ting Heng Seafood Restaurant

Previously when we were here, we noticed that there was a frog bee hoon with bitter gourd on the menu. We came back today to try it. Not bad. The small portion came with two meaty frogs. Bee hoon tasted like it was braised in a stock similar to pork trotter bee hoon. This one was lightly flavoured with fermented black beans.

We had battered fried squids. The menu has two items for that. One was done with the body and the other, the tentacles. This plate was the latter. Pretty good munching they made.

This was a dish of minced fish paste with enoki mushrooms and fried bean curd skin. Can't say that I've come across a dish of such combinations before. Those skins were tasty but pretty oily. 

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Revisiting Bakalaki

It's been almost a couple of years since we were last here.

One of the servers told us that were grilled sardines; not on the menu, so we got some. Fishes were served with some salt, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.

Chicken souvlaki was not bad. I haven't had much experience with souvlaki and shouldn't be treated like any authority on it. Liked the grill flavour in the chunks of chicken. Today's fries were also much tastier than the last time. 

Moussaka was also not bad, I thought I detected something like goat's cheese in it. The dish was not as heavy as it appeared.

While we haven't had enough similar food (except grilled sardines and lamb chops) to make proper comparisons between, Blu Kouzina does have better variety at about the same price point.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Tang Kay Kee Fishhead Beehoon, Hong Lim Food Centre

I read about these Tang Kay Kee (#01-70 Hong Lim Food Centre, 531A Upper Cross Street) and their cze char lunch bowls some months ago. From what I could gather, the stall had been around since the 40s serving regular cze char dinner until the younglings in the family dipped the family business into lunch bowls that garnered some attention.  We came over to try their "regular food" one evening because now we know that this would be the other place one could get food in the evening at Hong Lim. Apart from Woh Hup that is.

Tried their chai por fried rice which looked very mundane. What we didn't expect and kinda liked about this fried rice was the sweet-ish chai por that they had included. The rice was also competently fried with a good distribution egg and sufficient oil over the grains of rice without being excessively greasy. I only realized the ensnarement after a few mouthfuls when I continued to shovel spoonfuls into my face wondering what's this new sweet chai por fried rice sensation I was getting. 

I did feel that a bit more of the chai por would be nicer.

We ordered sum lou hor fun (三捞河粉). Not the overall tastiest rendition out there but the folks are friendly and were willing to egg drop (滑蛋) the gravy. The rice noodles had a width that was more tagliatelle than pappardelle and was nicely scorched on wok with a smoky scorch aroma that made this particular rendition noteworthy. Based on the treatment of the rice noodles, I would guess the other hor fun dishes would be similarly done.