Sunday, June 30, 2019

Beef hor fun with black bean sauce from Quan Ji


I came here with the intention to get the sliced fish option for their black bean sauce hor fun. But the elder gentleman I was sharing the table with had this and I thought it looked pretty darn good. Hence I ended up with the same. I wouldn't say that I regretted it but at least now I know because I've tried it for myself. The tenderized beef was better flavoured than most, but unfortunately (for me) still unnaturally soft. And chewy. That's my main beef with it. Pun fully intended. Liked the sauce but I'll stick to the sliced fish one in the future.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

SG Taps, Duxton Hill


We were kinda introduced to this place (#01-01, 13 Duxton Hill, tel : +65 6904 8474) which is run by a Japanese by another Japanese. The former, a Norihito Hirose who is a long time resident on our sunny island whom has woven together a house of mixed brews and way better than the average bar food which pays tribute to his and our cultures. Japanesingaporeasian stuff if you know what I mean.


Made sense to give their stuff on tap a try. They are SG Taps after all. This was Berry Berry Ume by a local microbrewery Daryl's Urban Ales. A blueberry umeboshi gose that's cider-ishly tangy with a berry citrus. Pretty easy drinking especially in our climate. But it seems they aren't into chilled glasses.


To the food! Ika nonkotsu karaage. I admit to being a little apprehensive in the beginning but I was won over. Deliciously flavoured crisp batter on some crunchy squid parts (presumably squid cartilage). Made good munching.


Loved the oysters that they smoked in house.


It would be remiss of me not to mention their smoked Camembert. Smoked in house as well. Was served with edamame and almonds that were also smoked in house. Almonds were sweet.


Tried their laksa pizza. The rempah was a little weak. What helped carry the laksa-ness through was the use of laksa leaves. This rendition had less seafood but was noticeably cheesier compared the one from Pizza Express which I thought had achieved a more Asian flavour profile. What I didn't get about this particular one was the onions. Didn't understand why there were onions in the pie or why they thought fried shallots was necessary. 


On the menu was something called Amami styled chicken rice. The short of it - it's a Japanese-y take on local chicken rice.


Served chazuke styled with shredded norisakura chicken and a very respectable chicken broth. I'll have to remember to ask them to omit the pickles the next time.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Watermelon & basil sorbet from Tom's Palette


This was not as refreshing as I had imagined. The texture of the sorbet was oddly lumpy and left a powdery aftertaste. I thought it was a little too sweet. Perhaps flavouring it with lime/lemon might have been a better idea.

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.