Thursday, August 29, 2019

Mrs Pho, Vivocity


I hadn't realized that Mrs Pho had an outlet at Vivocity (#01-171, 1 Harbourfront Walk) until recently so we were here to give the food a try since we kinda liked what we had from the original shop at Beach Road.


I liked their beef and starfruit salad which was tangy and refreshing with saltiness from the fish sauce. That was on top of the combination of textures and other flavours which included those prawn crackers you could eat them with. I did enjoy their rendition of bún mọc which featured a clear light tasting broth, sliced pork and something they called 'Mamma's chicken ham' that tasted exactly like the meatballs the noodles came with. Hmmm. That and the broth for the phở bò tái nạm wasn't as well done as the one at Beach Road. This bowl had flavour was muted with less beefiness and cinnamon.


Note to self : ask them to omit the Chinese parsley the next time.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Revisiting Hong Kong Jin Tian


It's been a while so I thought I'd give Hong Kong Jin Tian another go. The experience was considerably improved because I had wisely asked for fatty char siew (肥叉烧) rather than the burnt ends. On top of that, a roasted duck drumstick and a stewed egg. I enjoyed it though I did wish the duck was more tender and had more meat. But otherwise it had a nice old school savoury seasoning which wasn't excessively herbal.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Menya Kokoro, 100AM


I've been wanting to try this mazesoba place since they set up shop last year but had for reasons never made it to Suntec. Largest and most popular mazesoba from Japan was what I read. Our F&B imports tends to be full of superlatives just like this sunny island itself. This new outlet at 100AM (#02-10, 100 Tras Street) was a lot more convenient so here we were.

Tried the cold pork yuzu hiyashi. I enjoyed it. Nice, firm and refreshing noodles with textures from vegetables and tenkasu. I thought it was better after adding the extra yuzu sauce which they obliged.


We ended up with a bowl their curry beef maze don by mistake thinking that it was noodles that we had ordered. Turned out to be a fortunate mistake. I liked this because the curry wasn't excessive so the flavour from the garlic, negi and meat came through resulting in a more complex curry rice than most other curry rice. Not that those other curry rice weren't good but they would not have had the additional flavour and textures this did. Also, the curry was savoury and not sweet. Sweet! 


Not impressed by their mentai tamagoyaki. Sauce was more mayo than mentaiko. I would have preferred a much lighter batter on the fried tamago.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Ting Heng Seafood Restaurant, Tiong Poh Road


Not unlike numerous (hooray for double negatives!) other eateries, we've seen Ting Heng Seafood Restaurant (82 Tiong Poh Road, tel : +65 6323 6830) countless times when we're in the vicinity. We wanted to find out if they were any good so that we can count them into the cluster of cze char we can depend on in this area. That included places like Sin Hoi SaiTian Tian SeafoodLao You JiKampong Chicken Eating House and No. 3 Crab Delicacy.


We ordered claypot mutton because we like mutton/lamb. The meat for some reasons is not so commonly available in cze char and hence we were keen in finding out if this particular one was good. It wasn't. The lamb flavour was washed out by the stewing sauce and whatever processing they might have done on the meat. It wasn't a bad braised meat in claypot dish per se, but I eat lamb/mutton for their flavour and this one like many renditions, had failed me. This one, was definitely not a match for the rendition at Spring Court.


These prawns were a signature dish they had. The cooking involved some deep frying and stock glazing of those prawns. Flavour's not bad but it tasted like a generic stock which didn't have any identifiable flavour. Meat of those prawns were a little dry from the frying. Didn't taste bad though. There was some head fat that added flavour and a lot of those flavour were accumulated at the area near the head and the trimmed off legs.


That's claypot tofu and chicken cooked with salted fish - another signature dish from Ting Heng. This was delicious in that fishy salty manner. Great with rice. This was a small portion at $14 and the portions were really pretty small.


Ting Heng has a dish of small pig intestines (粉肠) stir fried with black pepper. I had initially thought it to be in a black pepper sauce but it wasn't so. It was just wok scorched intestines stir fried in black pepper and oil with bell peppers and onions. This rendition without sauce was pretty good. Nice chew.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Seizan Uni Ramen, Picnic @ Wisma Atria


So word is that Seizan Uni Ramen (Stall 7, #03-15 Wisma Atria, 435 Orchard Road) is from the two Michelin starred Seizan in Tokyo. That their dashi which requires 10 hours of preparation is the basis of all their broths including this uni ramen which uses bafun uni and cream. I was warily intrigued. 

I tried to understand the broth. In some mouthfuls, I was pretty sure there was that subtle sweetness from uni poking through the cream. In some, I failed to see how there was uni. While in others my mind kept pondering to itself "is this cream of pumpkin or is it cream of corn?". 

What I observed was that as the broth cooled towards the end of the bowl, it edged toward the definitively uni side of the spectrum of possible flavours that were floating around in my head.

It's not bad. Noodles were firm and chewy. Ajitama had very soft yolk though not exactly molten. Charshu was tender and disintegrating in the mouth. But I don't know if I'll eat it again.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Sushiro, Tiong Bahru Plaza


Not to be confused with Sushiro. Sushiro (#02-118 Tiong Bahru Plaza, 302 Tiong Bahru Road, tel : +65 6970 2293) is a chain from Japan, largest or so they say, for conveyer belt sushi. Conveyer belt sushi is what it is. I haven't felt any need to visit one in ages but I was intrigued.

Here's some of the stuff we had.


It's less than $5 here so you get the uni that you pay for. I wouldn't recommend it. It would be a bad experience if it was your first time. Pay top dollar for good quality uni if you want to experience it as it should be experienced.


Mentaiko and mayo instead of the cheap mentai-mayo stuff that one generally finds. I actually liked this. Had seconds.


Broiled fatty salmon. Needs more broiling or torching methinks.


Negitoro not bad.


Chutoro not bad but the cut is small and a little thin which throws the balance of fish (meaning also flavour) to rice off the usual balance. It is cheap and for what one is paying here and hence pretty good value. I noticed that cuts are of differing levels of marbling so if you're lucky, you could find some chutoro that have almost otoro grade marbling.


Otoro - fattier, hence more flavourful than the chutoro. Again, it's not a very big piece. A proper sushi restaurant would charge probably more than three times more for something probably double the size.


I think these might be botan ebi. Large, meaty and sweet. We had seconds.


Little shrimps with mayo. Not bad.


Tai, not bad.


Hamachi. Pretty good actually.


Spicy marinated herring roe. Not really spicy. Not bad tasting too. 


Scallops with lemon and basil. Tastes...Italian. They have a bunch of other lemon and basil stuff which I assume would taste similar.


Kani miso is kani miso. And kani miso is nice.


These were the large scallops. One serving per plate instead of two for the regular sized ones. Sweet. Had seconds.


Aburi toro. Similar comments as the otoro. Aburi ups the flavour game.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Chilli pan mee from Nam Kee Pau


We were looking for breakfast at Plaza Singapura and I thought the chilli ban mee from Nam Kee (#B2-25, 68 Orchard Road) was worth a try. In retrospect, it was the chilli that saved it. A chilli that was flavoured with ikan bilis which reminded me of the sambal that some prata stalls still provide. As a bowl, it wasn't as enjoyable as the one from Grandma Ban Mee though I've to admit that I like this egg much better as something to enrich the chilli. 

Those vegetables in the bowl were too fibrous and shouldn't have been served. But seeing how Nam Kee as been expanding pretty successfully as a chain, I'm not surprised they don't give a damn at their lack of quality control.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Doubling up at O Banh Mi


O Banh Mi has 'double up' options for some of their rice plates now. I'm not sure when did this start but I'm glad that they actually did since the regular portions were a little puny. Nothing fancy here - just the simplicity of a hearty grilled pork chop or chicken (yes I've been back a couple of times) covered in their nice char and semi sweet marinade with rice and egg.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Re-visiting Kko Kko Nara


The last time we were at Kko Kko Nara (68 Tanjong Pagar Road, tel : +65 6225 9282), they were located at Tras Street. That's nine years ago and they've relocated to the main Tanjong Pagar Road with a bigger and brighter space. In those nine years since, many other Korean eateries have sprung up all around the vicinity.


Banchan wasn't plentiful but they were kinda nice. I liked those pickled radish which helped cut through grease from the food.


We ordered their fried chicken. It looked and even tasted different from how we remembered it. The batter seemed thicker. I guess with the prerequisite crunch and moist meat without being excessively greasy, it ticked the right boxes and there were no complains. 


What we thought was disappointing was their dogani tang. It was bland. Even after we asked for some saeujeot, I thought it needed a bit more salt. The tendons in the soup were unevenly cooked. Some were soft and chewy like beefy mochi while others were harder like cartilage. 


Squid pancake was nice even though it didn't look as pretty as the picture on the menu. Was savoury with a lot of textures from the leeks and squid.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Tsingtao Stout


I may have gotten this from Meidi Ya. I'm not sure. But I got it because I never knew that Tsing Tao had stouts and I was curious. It's not bad though. A little yeasty, not very bitter and pretty smooth going down.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Curious Palette, Prinsep Street


Got curious about Curious Palette (64 Prinsep Street, tel : +65 6238 1068) because their food appeared to be a little more interesting than the 99% run of the mill cafes that's proliferated our sunny island.


Nursed some salty chocolate while waiting for the food.


The first item we had was a little disappointing. Kaya toast with coffee butter, eggs and espresso shoyu sounded good. The kaya was the Hainanese variety so the flavour was predominantly coconut. Didn't think much of the coffee butter which had a weak coffee flavour and didn't taste like any butter. Espresso shoyu? I thought it was just soya sauce. 


The confit tomatoes and lardo got us sold on this one. I think it was pretty good. Loved that those tomatoes were sweet and juicy.


One of the things we were curious about was their sugarloaf cabbage with seaweed butter. The flavour was outstanding. A creamy umami richness from the seaweed butter and egg that was paired with a caramelized sweetness from the burnt cabbage and a fragrant nuttiness from toasted pine nuts and peanuts. Not forgetting aroma from the curry leaves as well. This was savoury, complex and delicious.