Thursday, June 27, 2019

Shuang Shun Chicken Rice (雙顺鸡饭), Geylang Lorong 18

This was a random find as I was in the vicinity. Pretty decent chicken rice in a coffeeshop at the end of Geylang Lorong 18 where it connects to the main Geylang Road (346 Geylang Road). Here's a plate with ji wei (鸡尾)/chicken thigh, liver and egg. This was a greasy one but in a good way. The rice was well oiled on top of the customary drizzle of sesame oil. Liver was creamy. Chilli had some lime and was lightly salted. As I said, pretty decent.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Founder Bak Kut Teh, Bugis

In recent years, Founder Bak Kut Teh has expanded their business into a few branches. With home grown businesses, branches have always had a thing with quality control. It's usually inconsistent or lower. This was Founder at Bugis (#01-01, 530 North Bridge Road, tel : +65 6255 3889).

If you're wondering if those premium long ribs of theirs looked dry - it was. Meat wasn't as tender as I had imagined. I suppose one could euphemistically describe them as meaty or hearty but I would definitely prefer something more tender. Their bak kut teh broth was also less peppery than I remembered them.

Stewed tau kee was quite nice. Sweet even. There was a robust star anise flavour from the spiced stewing liquid. But it looked nothing like the menu. This was much darker, dryer and chewier than what the pictures on the menu suggested. Those pictures could be construed as....misleading.

Mee sua (面线) was oddly al dente. It was firm, a little clumpy but not unpleasant. I don't know if that was the intention but I didn't dislike it; although I was expecting the texture of the vermicelli to be smoother.

We got an order of dough fritters/fried Chinese crullers/油条/you zha kuey for their bkt broth which was refillable. Crispy they were but not as soft on the inside as those from Old Street which did a better job soaking up the broth.

This was their trio steam egg, a dish of custardy steamed egg with diced bits of salted egg and century egg. Hence trio. Very nice. The soy sauce that they used over the dish was very pleasant; tasted like the better quality type used in Hong Kong styled steam fishes. 

I'm on the fence regarding this Founder.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Nana Original Thai Food, Golden Mile Complex

Back to Golden Mile for Thai food. This time round it's Nana Original Thai Food (#01-51/52/66A Golden Mile Complex, 5001 Beach Road, tel : +65 6297 8498). Apparently, this shop opens 24/7.

Liked their rendition of green curry with chicken. The curry was thin, spiced and....well, because it was thin it was drinkable like a creamy soup. There was a good hit of the aniseed flavour from the basil.

Couldn't pass on their som tam mamuang.

Couldn't pass on dressing it up further with peanuts and sugar.

Flavour was varied and pretty intense. There was the citrus tang from the crunchy strips of mangoes, pungent saltiness from the generous use of fish sauce, an occasional break of sharpness from the onions, some heat and a light crustacean aroma from the little dried shrimps. That along with the nuttiness from the crushed peanuts and sweet from the sugar. Party in the mouth? Sure.

Competent if unexceptional stir fried kailan.

Pretty good pineapple fried rice Nana has. Chunks of pineapple, raisins, some seafood, cashews and chicken floss. This could be one of the better renditions I've had.

Fried omelette which was also competent. No excessive grease here.

We had some grilled pork. Wasn't too bad but these weren't freshly grilled. It was the only dish we had that wasn't freshly made to order. Could have been better if the jaew had packed more punch.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Maria's Corner, Tanglin Halt

Venerable looking unassuming stall (Guan Kim Coffeeshop, 47 Tanglin Halt Road) that piqued my interest enough to get me down for breakfast.

Got a plate of nasi lemak. With fried fish, fried egg, bergedil, some paru and abit of serunding beside their sambal. First the rice - soft, moist with a discernible coconut base, salted sufficiently and unexpectedly the aroma of lemongrass. I usually find lemongrass a disruptive flavour in non sour food but this was harmonious. Sambal was moderately spicy and sweet. That sweetness wasn't annoying though.

That presented to me a first world problem. Each mouthful of rice was a decision between sambal, sambal and serunding, serunding or just rice.

I liked the paru. Don't know how it was prepared but it didn't have jerky like texture that many paru goreng does. These were tender, chewy and beefy chunks of lungs enveloped in spices. Fish was okay, bergedil was ok. It's the nasi lemak as a whole that'll be getting me to come back.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Chicken parm and pan seared barramundi at Sarnies

Sarnies works for a couple of stuff. Their sandwiches are pretty decent and breakfast isn't too bad. Not so impressive for dinner though. But here we were at dinner again.

They have a pretty looking chicken parmigiana which was what I had been eyeing. Thin large slices of breaded chicken blanketed in tomato paste and torched cheese. It looked a lot cheesier than it tasted and those truffle wedges on the side didn't have much truffle flavour. It's not bad per se but neither was it memorable.

Barramundi not bad. We've had better but this was really okay with properly tender and moist meat and a crisp skin. The pea puree was nice in that pea flavoured manner. That tasteless green bumpy cracker on the side was what the menu described as crispy sago. So fish and pea was nice, the rest was pretty forgettable. 

Alas, if only the food was better, I'd definitely take more advantage of that $9 Kronenbourg Blanc during their happy hour.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Yet another meal at Luka

There's a saying that the third time's a charm. I've never discovered the origins of that saying nor put much stock in it but it seemed to be true for Luka and us. The end of the last visit had me still sitting on the fence about how I felt about their food. Tonight was assertively much better.

There were Hokkaido oysters. We had some. Not bad. Pretty creamy. Though I am pretty sure that the ones we had a couple of months back from Keria were more impressive.

We ordered their sotong. Pretty good chewy and tender sautéed squids that was served on a bed of squid ink cream and a spicy arrabiata-esque sauce. I liked those sauces.

Luka has a shirasu aglio olio. Not the traditional Italian aglio olio but Luka's rendition. A little wet with a very light garlic-ky tomato base that was spiked with capers and shiso. I was hoping for more shirasu though but I couldn't complain. The pasta was umami-licious and the texture of the spaghetti was just spot on.

Mozzarella, mushrooms, truffle paste and egg - can't get much safer than that these days. I liked that it wasn't overly truffle-y. What impressed me about today's pizza was the crust. Light, airy and had a cornicione that was almost fluffy. The pie was so easy to eat. I need to come back for more. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Hitsuji Club, Circular Road

The Hitsuji Club (65 Circular Road, tel : +65 6221 3789) opened about 5 years or so ago and remains one of a few true lamb specialist on this island.  They're from Hokkaido and serve Hokkaido styled Jingiskan/Jingisukan yakiniku which is their take on the Mongolian styled grill. 

Suntory draft is available. Something I nursed while keeping our mouths busy with their otsumami while waiting for the real eating to begin.

We ordered their premium Jingiskan with lamb chop set.

Otsumami included lamb sashimi. This was the fillet which was served with shoyu and a sesame oil with salt dip. Those raw lamb fillet had texture that was akin to a chewier tuna (akami). Didn't taste like tuna though. Tasted like red meat to me but I couldn't quite positively identify them as lamb.

This was the iburigakko with cream cheese. Smoked radish. These were made in a process involving smoking the vegetable before the actual pickling. A style of making pickles from the northern Akita prefecture because of the cold climate. Tasted like a smoky takuan.

The table side grill was prepared by the server using rendered fat from lamb as the oil. We basically just ate what was ready as it was doled out.

Servings of the lamb rotated between the tender fillet...

...and the loin. And the vegetables in between and along the way. The eringi and the pumpkin were my favourite since they were the ones that managed to retain a nice balance from the flavour of the lamb fat and its own.

The more exiting part of the grill involved the lamb chops. The meat was partially cooked before the fatty outer layer was sliced out. That slice of fat was later cubed and then cooked till it was crispy like fried pork lard. This sure was heavy. Deliciously heavy.

The server grilling our meats got a nice char on those chops which were pretty good. Believe it or not, we got lamb-ed out from this dinner. As much as we enjoyed it, we were stuffed in the end and to the point that we'd be staying off any lamb for a while. Just a while.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Paneer uttapam from Kebabs 'n Curries

I noticed that there was a paneer uttapam on the menu the last time we were here Kebabs 'n Curries so that's what it looked like. A crispy orangey yellowy crusty pancake. 

Could definitely taste some of the crumbled paneer that was sprinkled all over the uttapam but I couldn't figure out what the other colours were. I did think that the yellows resembled egg but I don't think those were. Anyway, didn't get much of the paneer experience from this uttapam - which was a little disappointing. Today's coconut chutney was too gingery for me too.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Kabayan Filipino Restaurant, Lucky Plaza

We were in the vicinity and had lunch at Kabayan Filipino Restaurant (#03-25 Lucky Plaza, 304 Orchard Road). I've heard of them for some time and have been wanting to check out their food. Which is done cafeteria styled like Sari Ratu or Minang House where one picks dishes of their choice to go with rice.

Food's not bad. The options were a little overwhelming so in the short moments of agonizing over what to pick, I ended up with a plate with longanisa (sweet sausage), lechon kawali (roasted pork belly) and some strong beans in a vinegar sauce. The latter was dangerously appetizing while that longanisa reminded me of 台湾香肠. Pork belly wasn't so crispy but I didn't quite mind that.

Also liked also their peanut-ty kare kare with tripe that came with a side of bagoong which was pretty awesome with either the stew or on rice with everything else. Gotta come back another time to see what else is good.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Todamgol Todamgol to buy a fat pig...

We've gotten a little bit wiser with the ordering at Korean restaurants. But wiser still we must be. Here's some recent eats from Todamgol.

We've tried their bossam previously, liked it but we were also curious about their jokbal. A combo platter resolved it by giving us both. Both the boiled belly and knuckle were pretty good especially paired with their nutty ssamjang and salty saeujeot. The portions were huge.

There was an option to top up $10 for oyster kimchi. We thought that it would replace the regular kimchi but these came in a separate serving. Not bad. Between the banchan, the bossam/jokbal platter and this, we had a lot of kimchi.

Tried chueo tang for the first time. It's boiled loach soup. The method of preparation resulted in the fish being pretty much disintegrated from all the boiling. All that was of it was just a gritty texture in the soup. Which became a bit tastier after we've put in some of the saeujeot.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Non-fried fish soup noodles from The Ship

It does exist. Most people who end up with an order of their fish soup noodles at The Ship get the fried fish option. Which is a good eat. This non-fried option came with what looked to be thicker and firm slices of boiled snakehead that was equally delicious in its own ways. One can up the ante with a spicy warmth by introducing a few slices of the chilli padi they provide on the side into the milk infused broth. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Li Bai, Sheraton Towers

I've been wanting to come to Li Bai (Level 1 Sheraton Towers, 39 Scotts Road, tel : +65 6839 5623) for a long time. The restaurant is located at the basement of Sheraton Towers even though the address puts them on the first level. To the food...

This was a dim sum lunch. Had their century egg and pork porridge. Pretty good. I did not expect to like their crispy fried crullers (油条) as I generally don't enjoy crispy fried crullers.

The menu described their har gow to include bamboo shoots. Couldn't taste any of those. The prawn stuffing was springy and full of bite but was also absent of sweetness.

Their scallop and white asparagus dumplings were pretty good though. I thought they managed to achieve a balance of two delicate flavours pretty well with these.

Siew mai was nice. The flavours of the ingredients were defined in a way that each of the ingredients were individually identifiable, enjoyable and came together nicely as well.

Chicken claws were slurp off the bone tender. I was surprised that the flavour from the skin was lacking though.

I ordered this because it was called Californian orange chicken. Or something like that. It's fried chicken that stir fried with a sweet and sour sauce that's presumably made with oranges. It's actually kinda nice in the same way sweet and sour pork is.

Their deep fried pig intestines had light and crispy skin. Not bad as well.

These crystal dumplings with mixed vegetables (碧绿水晶饺) were outstanding. I'm guessing that the vegetables were stir fried before being stuffed into those crystal skins and subsequently steamed. So filled with flavour. Smoky and savoury would be good words to describe them. I'd come back just for these.

In Li Bai, I have found the fish paste noodles that I've been searching for a long time. Fish paste noodles that were made on order, scorched in the wok before being tossed in the stock with the other ingredients. In this case, the other ingredients were some plump prawns and mushrooms.

Flavour and texture was pretty much what I had been looking for. They've outdone Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew Cuisine. I'd come back here for these too.

Stuffed as we were, we managed some black sesame dumplings coated in peanut powder.