Saturday, November 30, 2019

Chicken rice from Koufu at Fusionopolis


I've eaten from this chicken rice stall at the Koufu food court (#B2-02 Fusionopolis, 1 Fusionopolis Way) a couple of times so I thought it was worth a mention. It's not bad. Chicken was respectably smooth and tender. A little greasier than what I generally prefer after it's been plated and oiled up but still enjoyable. Chilli was more garlicky than gingery which is what I also generally prefer. I wouldn't recommend the roasted pork though. While it was edible, it also wasn't particularly flavourful nor tender. A little dry and stiff was what they were.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Chicken rice bento from Duck Master


Beside their duck bento, Duck Master also has one for their chicken. I haven't gotten anything from them for a while because their duck bento has gone up by a dollar and on top of that, they've switched their rice to regular white rice from the chicken rice. So that's more than a simple dollar of inflation right there.. 

I thought to give the chicken one a go since I've tried their chicken previously and didn't remember disliking it. Apparently, the way the chicken is done has changed. Well, at least I'm pretty sure that I didn't remember it being like this. Didn't taste bad if you didn't compare them to the ones that one can get in restaurants. It also seems that they've swapped out their chicken rice to regular rice for good. One more reason not to come back.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Revisiting Matsuo Sushi


Wow, it's been 11 years since we were last at Matsuo Sushi. Matsuo-san has been quietly operating his little sushi shop almost under the radar for a long time. For some reasons, I thought of them that thought was what prompted this return.


I did a little Googling and came across their nigiri matsu online. Thought it looked good and they had a set for that at dinner. The set which included just a miso soup.

But it looked nothing like the picture I saw online. There were no scallops and the umaki was served separately. I had almost mistaken that for otoshi. The maki that came with the sushi was cucumber and not kanpyo. Both the uni and ikura weren't on a gunkan, just piled on top of a little dish of rice. Speaking of rice, the shari seemed very lacking in vinegar. What's happening?


Miso soup was a bore as well. I had difficulty identifying it as miso especially with the flavour from the salmon muddling it.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Cô Hai Bánh Mì, Beach Road


Came to know of this Vietnamese (359 Beach Road, tel : +65 6291 6435) joint recently. They're located near to Mrs Pho.


There's soursop smoothie on the menu. Chilled, sweet and citrus-y. Just the thing for our climate.


We ordered a gỏi xoài (mango salad). How the salad looked reminded me of the goi du du from Moc Quan. For a moment, I was a little wary but it turned out to be delicious. You know - the salty fish sauce with a bit of sweetness and citrus tang coupled with fresh crunch kind of delicious. There was also something that tasted like laksa leaves. Pretty sure they were those.


They had a variety of banh mi on the menu so we tried their bánh mì cô hai. There was pork belly, some sausages, ham and pate. Sans cilantro/coriander of course. I thought it was ok. Tasted pretty much like how it looked. I had expected to be more impressed since banh mi was in the name of the restaurant. 


We got their fried banana spring rolls because we've never had them before and were curious.


I'm very often biased against cooked bananas that aren't of the pisang raja variety. This wasn't. Hence the lack of pisang raja's brand of balance between the tanginess and sweet. The bananas they used were just sweeter. Definitely didn't need all that maple syrup that they had drizzled over the spring rolls.


This was called xôi thập cẩm. Sticky rice with shredded chicken, ham, something like lup cheong, meat floss and a couple of quail eggs topped with peanuts and sesame seeds. I liked this. I couldn't identify the flavour in the sticky rice but it was pleasant and almost like chicken rice.


There's a pretty good cháo gà (chicken porridge) on menu as well. It's light on the rice and more on the broth which was lightweight yet increasingly addictive after each spoonful. This one had laksa leaves as well.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Himonoya, Robertson Walk


In the era before refrigeration and canning, fishes were salted and dried. These salted and dried goods were referred to as himono. The techniques are still in practice today but the purpose is for flavour rather than preservation. Himonoya (#02-14 Robertson Walk, 11 Unity Street, tel : +65 6235 9110) is an izakaya. They have a few himono of their own and I wanted to try them. 


We started with some of their little plates. That's potato salad with bits of crab, ikura and kani miso.


Followed by shishamo. Not the most pregnant ones we've had. These were pretty good though.


Ankimo ponzu was delicious.


So was the creamy shirako ponzu.


The himono we chose for tonight was kinki. Not so impressed by the flavour. Then again, we didn't really know what to expect since it's the first time we've had it. The meat was a little fishier than I had expected. Perhaps I shall stick to kinmedai the next time.


Surprisingly good was their shoyu butter onigiri. The rice ball was infused with shoyu, grilled and butter was melted over. The grilling created crusty caramelized bits on the surface that had flavour that was akin to coffee. The savouriness from the soy sauce and the bit of richness from the butter crept up from behind and killed it. Would eat this again.


Then came croquettes with more bits of crab meat and kani miso. I'm not sure I even tasted crab from the creamy innards of the croquette but the kani miso pretty much saved it.


Slices of buri and chutoro they served were nice. Both fishes were fatty.


The aburi-ed wagyu roll with blobs of uni we couldn't taste much of served as a filler to close the meal. The maki wasn't exactly a flavour bomb on it's own but with the left over ponzu from the shirako, the rolls became pretty tasty.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

A dry kuey teow bowl with tendon and tripe from Empress Place Teochew Beef Kway Teow


I noticed that the stall now has stir fried beef kuey teow and beef fried rice on top of the regular kuey teow options they normally do. While I'm quite willing to admit that this is currently one of my favourite non-Hainanese dry beef kuey teow stall on the island, I realized that it's a little difficult for me to give those other items a chance since I don't come here often enough to even get past their kuey teow bowls.

Anyways, here's a tendon and tripe bowl. I seem to remember that their large bowls were going for $7 the last time and today, it's $6. Still yummy with fragrance from sesame oil, light tangy bits from the kiam chye and moderated heat from the chilli. One can always get more to of the chilli sauce to ramp up the heat but I'm happy with their default portions for now.

Friday, November 22, 2019

The Fisherman with scrambled eggs at Two Men Bagel House


Two Men Bagel House has renovated into a larger space. The menu has also gone through a revamp. Little changes but noticeable ones. Some of the old stuff don't seem to be around anymore. I finally got to try one of their smoked salmon bagel this time round. It's called Fisherman with cream cheese, red onions, capers and tomatoes. Topped it up with scrambled egg for a protein rich breakfast between cheddar bagels.

Not bad but I think I prefer salmon that's a little smokier and perhaps with dill. While I had nothing on the generosity of the ingredients which were literally spilling out of the bagel, it was also obvious that little thought had been gone through to construct it properly. Everything was falling apart and spilling as I ate. By the time I was done, my fingers had all been cream cheesed.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

More mazesoba at Menya Kokoro

Menya Kokoro is currently featuring a bunch of best sellers from their shops all over where they have shops.


There was a double cheese mazesoba which featured charred cheese. Their top seller in Jakarta. I had hopes. Not because of Jakarta.


Didn't look like there was much cheesiness going around after tossing and the taste confirmed it. But I was glad that the other components that formed the base flavour was already delicious in the first place.


The shop offered rice for the left over ingredients after you've finished the mazesoba. Loved how well it worked with rice too.


For reasons, the top seller for Vancouver was their mentai ebi bowl. Very nice as well. I was surprised that there wasn't much of the mentaiko flavour as compared to the flavour of prawns which was pretty prominent.


Discovered ajikatsu on the menu. It was okay. Not as good as those from Tonkatsu by Ma Maison for sure.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Brunch at Publico


Publico Ristorante was the restaurant (Level 1 Intercontinental Singapore Robertson Quay, 1 Nanson Road, tel : +65 6826 5040) that opened up after their deli, Publico Deli - which has since been rechristened to Marcello. I suppose they escaped my attention because it's not so uncommon for yet another Italian restaurant to open up here. We came for brunch over the weekend.


Our curiosity was piqued by their squid ink marinated salmon. Hence the obsidian edges of the fish. The dish was served on yoghurt that was heavy with cumin. Which was nice but was also much too much flavour for the fish. A slice of the salmon smudged with the yoghurt would probably register 10-15% salmon flavour. The squid ink didn't do much.


Scrambled eggs with grated black truffle on toasted sourdough. Not bad. I could also tell that the eggs would have been much better if there was salted butter in the scramble.


I admit to being a little apprehensive of the ragu from their conchiglie but it turned out very nice. The sauce was robust and meaty. Not the best I've had as memory served but perfection will not make me an enemy of good. This was good. 


Pretty competent tiramisu that had the ladyfingers well soaked. My opinion was that this rendition could be improved with a higher mascarpone to ladyfinger ratio.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Yan Fried Bee Hoon (焱), Redhill Food Centre


There was some buzz about 焱 (#01-19, Redhill Food Centre, 85 Redhill Lane) because of a certain someone whom was seen queueing for their noodles or was it fried chicken wings. The owner of 焱 from then has moved on and the current proprietor is someone else. The bee hoon had a nice stringy texture but I thought it would have benefitted from more flavour. Ivan's Porridge has better flavour. Chicken wings were pretty tasty though. Due to fortuitous timing, I happened to get a freshly fried batch. Those wings had a nice crisp without excess grease and very moist meat. Liked their luncheon meat.

Friday, November 15, 2019

The Wicked Garlic, International Plaza


We've walked by The Wicked Garlic (#01-37 International Plaza, 10 Anson Road) place a few times but have never eaten there because I wasn't sure how I felt about them. While wandering around Tanjong Pagar looking for food tonight with half a mind on getting ramen from the International Plaza outlet of Keisuke's Tonkotsu King, we saw them and decided, why not?

Tried their curry prawn risotto. Curry was thick and had a bit of heat but it wasn't complex enough that the flavour became monotonous after a bit. Interesting but I don't think I'll eat it again. The gnocchi below were small and had some crusty skin. I wouldn't have known they were gnocchi if it wasn't mentioned on the menu. It's okay, nothing that'll reel us back though.

No I'm not writing them off. I intend to come back another time to try more stuff. Their prices are pretty affordable.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Ashes Burnnit, Golden Mile Food Centre


Ashes Burnnit (#B1-24 Golden Mile Food Centre, 505 Beach Road) identify their beef burgers as smash burgers. I felt it lacked identity. Why? The patty didn't look smashed to me so it wasn't a smash type burger. No charred crusty edges neither. There was a special sauce just like many other burgers which tasted generic like countless other special sauces. Nothing unique about how it was constructed.

But it's not bad tasting in the realm of hawker centre burgers. Not quite Hammee's. Not sure how those fried shallots were supposed to help because I couldn't taste them and the sauce was probably not necessary. Fries were nice though.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Spiced apple tart tartin from Porta


Not as spiced as I had imagined.

The pastry below was a filo shell which I had been expecting to be well buttered but wasn't. Beneath the filo shell were the stewed apples. Ice cream was rum and raisin. If anyone had been wondering if the brown stuff strewn over was bacon, it was. With maple syrup.  So it was sweet and saltiness going on. Not bad but I expected better fresher flavour from both the filo and bacon. This looked assembled rather than freshly made. From Porta (Level 1 Park Hotel Clarke Quay, 1 Unity Street, tel : +65 6593 8855).

Monday, November 11, 2019

Da Po Hainanese Chicken Rice & Curry Chicken Noodles (大坡海南鸡饭咖喱鸡面), Golden Mile Food Centre


I've been wanting to come by Da Po (#B1-53 Golden Mile Food Centre, 505 Beach Road) for years. This bowl happened just recently. I was initially intrigued by them selling both chicken rice and curry noodles. Got pushed over the edge when I saw their curry noodles featured in an online video so here we were.

I think comparison have been made and I'm in agreement with the fact that Da Po's curry is more savoury compared to Heng Kee and Ah Heng. It's also richer tasting though it didn't have the viscosity texture that richer curries tend to have. Those alone put Da Po ahead of the other two stalls for me. Noticed that the curry was also more spicy than their chilli paste. Which wasn't very spicy at all but packed some saltiness and a lot of flavour.

That's the $8 bowl which with boiled chicken, fish cake, tau pok, potatoes and pig skin. Pretty good eat. Would not mind them if I'm in the vicinity. I'm curious about their chicken rice though.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Re-revisiting Masa Steak and Hamburg


We still haven't taken the plunge with the expensive steaks at Masa. But we remembered having a better impression of their hamburg from the last visit so we came back for them again. More affordable even though they're still pricey.


We started with snapper carpaccio. Pretty good slices with good texture and a nice flavour from the fish thats paired with mostly some umami which we suspected came from the orange-y stuff (maybe bottarga or dried shrimp roe?) and the drizzles of balsamic. Refreshing but the portions were pretty small.


Today's hamburg was topped with Cheddar. The centre was a little mushy unlike the first time when it was properly textured by a better controlled doneness.


Had a gohan set to go with the hamburg. The rice came with miso soup and some tsukemono. Shredded takuan, gobo and I think spring onions.


Pleasantly surprised by their spaghetti bolognese. There was cream in it which soften the edge from the tanginess in the tomato component of the sauce and added a light creaminess. Pasta doneness was also nicely time resulting in firm noodles. This was much tastier than I had thought.