Saturday, February 28, 2009

Covo Bistro & Lounge, Greenwood Avenue

The entire experience eating in this place was rather good, secluded in the peaceful corner of Greenwood (16 Greenwood Avenue, Hillcrest Park, tel : 6466 8103). With their use of discreet lighting (read as rather romantic for dates) and somewhat minimalist industrial looking decors along with a nifty table in the middle of the restaurant encased in glass and little ponds at the sides. It was somewhat of a little surprise to find this space after having been here a number of times and never actually noticing that it existed until today. The amicable show runner (or chef or owner) Oliver whom was lurking at the entrance mentioned that it's been around for a year or two. I must confess that we were also partially bought by the $1 oyster options which sounded really familiar considering that this was just a few units away from the Greenwood Fish Market.

The food what fusion-ish by account of description and since we only had the squid ink pasta and oysters to go by, I couldn't really say much else about the other things. The former was quite the usual of its sorts, featuring al dente spaghetti and bits of squid in some crabmeat garlic tapenade. What I really didn't like about it was the chopped bits of coriander which I did not expect (why?!) and had to pick out carefully, marring this otherwise decent pasta. The Australian oysters were definitely fresh, plump and chilled and sliding down with ease with the accompanied lemons and tabasco sauce.

What amused me was that the sangria was bubbly (not bad actually) and that these guys actually serve also, a non alcoholic version. I asked the serving staff if that wouldn't have made it just a fruit punch and all I got was a bemused smile for a response.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hill Street Tai Hwa Ba Chor Mee, Crawford Lane

Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle

I have actually dropped by for a bowl of this delicious ba chor mee after the unsatisfying experience at Fatty Ox since Tai Hwa was nearby. Besides, I've been wanted to return after being introduced to it a couple of years back. What clicked for me here is the judicious use of vinegar and their unique blend of savoury fragrance from the fried pork lard and dried sole. Tossed with the toppings of sliced lean pork, pork liver, meatballs and some wanton.

Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle

Fatty Ox Hong Kong Roast Duck, North Bridge Road

Fatty Ox Hong Kong Roast Duck
This stall (in a coffeeshop at 10 North Bridge Road) which was previously located at Murray Street is apparently a comeback by the owner from Hong Kong. I was made aware of the old location some time ago but didn't successfully located it before it closed.

Their roast duck tasted fine and so did the tender roasted pork belly. I couldn't rate it above a "not bad" for a place that gave me duck that was mostly bones. Based on this experience, I have had better options for both roast duck and roasted meat. So while Fatty Ox wasn't bad, it wasn't remarkable neither. Nor filling as well.

Fatty Ox Hong Kong Roast Duck

Monday, February 23, 2009

Shiraz Mezzah, Clark Quay

I was thinking that this might be a good place (Blk 3A, Clarke Quay, #01-09 River Valley Road, tel : 6334 2282) to get kebabs since there weren't much of such stands around. This one was opened by Shiraz which is just across the pavement. What I didn't expect were fries and jalapenos in the the kebabs. Not that I minded them (frozen fries which were fried upon order, at least mine were) but they didn't quite feel Persian to me (squeeze bottle hummus anyone?). Those jalapenos which added a nice touch of tangy spiciness to the meat did do the job but I guess it just felt a little Mexican? Perhaps that's the face of modern Middle Eastern fast food? Still can't beat Sultan Kebab here which feels a little more straightforward. I wouldn't say that I'll avoid this since the food was actually not bad.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Crystal's mee shay

Wow, this mee shay was really not bad and dare I say, authentic since it was made by someone who learnt how to do it back at home where it was done as many people would eat them minus the fanciful dressing and localised adaptation. Hey Crystal, this is yours and thanks for the really nice lunch. Certainly as well, this is the first Burmese entry I've ever done and will probably be an opening for more to come in the future once I figure out where to land myself more of their food locally.

Back to the mee shay, it wasn't too complicated to make them as well. Essentially, it's a kuey teow salad with stuff like pickled vegetables, chilli black bean paste, raw bean sprouts, spicy fermented tofu (excellent surprise), vinegar with bits of raw garlic and some starch, all hand mixed. How could I have forgotten to mention cubes of braised pork belly. There was actually some coriander garnishes which I passed of course. The result was a strong flavored and appetizing comfort dish which landed myself 3 servings. Oh man, the z monster afterwards....

And then, there was some pork rib and coriander soup with garlic. I'm glad that the coriander was just crushed stems which didn't introduce an overwhelming taste of that vile plant. I guess the mildness of that flavor actually gave a depth to the soup that I never expected that I would enjoy.

Thanks again Crystal, for a wonderful lunch, masala chai, frozen watermelons and cigars. Will be looking forward to the next lunch.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Skinny Pizza, Suntec City

I'm not sure how long Skinny Pizza (3 Temasek Boulevard, #01-002 Suntec City Galleria, tel : 6333 9774) has been around, but I think these guys are related to or at least working together with Barracks. I noticed the connection recently that both were actually doing same type of crispy crust pizzas with the same branding. They even make the same truffled fries at this place.

I was drawn in by the curiosity of their super thin crust. It was only after eating them that I realised that the crust wasn't anywhere similar to actual thin crusts for pizza. It was so crispy that the texture was akin to papadums. All crisp and no chew. Which made them a mess to eat with utensils or hands since they simply fell apart whether you bit into them or tried to cut them. After a while, the crisp kinda wore out and to be honest, I prefer a regular thin crust. These ones were far too thin and barely held the weight of the toppings without falling apart.

In the department of toppings, these guys were pretty generous. The dark grey-ish one was the squid ink pizza which came with a squid ink crust and some squid ink sauce on the top. There was quite a bit of squid and prawns with some tomato salsa as well. Liked those rings of raw red onions. But I didn't like that it arrived barely lukewarm.

The other macadamia roasted pumpkin pizza featured chunks of roasted butternut squash, real macadamia nuts and the best part - goat's cheese. As you might have guessed, it was a blend of pungence, nutty fragrance and sweetness which worked. The crust got boring after a while though and I'm didn't notice any ripped basil that the menu mentioned.

All in all, eating these were just a novelty. The toppings did well. I wouldn't mind eating them again, but I don't think I'll be in a hurry to re-visit anytime soon

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mega McGriddles

Mega McGriddles

So, I've finally gotten round to eating one of these double pattied McGriddles and I kinda like them better than the regular ones. Simply because there's twice of that salty and peppered chicken meat underneath their sweet hot cake covers. It's a tad pricey in my opinion and would be great if it's a dollar or two cheaper.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Pasta Brava re-visited

moon shaped ravioli with pumpkin, red capsicum sauce and cream

It's been quite a while since I last ate here and I've been wanting to try out their oft recommended pumpkin filled raviolis for the longest time. This trip puts me a little bit closer into covering what I've been wanting to eat from their menu since it hasn't changed since the first time I've visited and probably also, for a very long time. I suppose that means that if you're looking for something new, it's not going to work for you. On the other hand, the favourites remain good.

We started off with some very decent fried calamari. If I had to do some comparison here, I would have to say that I would pick the ones over at Da Mario over this since their batter was more flavored and one could just eat them the way they are minus any dips. These ones had batter that was a little more bland, but made it up with their mildly spicy tomato dip.

pappardelle with ragout of duckling and mushroom

Based on my previous visits, the pastas here have been mostly a good experience and this one continues that tradition. I'm quite taken in by the pumpkin filled ravioli which was almost dessert like in some ways from the sweet pumpkin puree stuffings. Together with that robust and creamy capsicum sauce that lingered in its flavor serveral burps later after dinner. What I thought was that it's definitely an interesting mix of flavors in a captivating way. The duckling pappardelle turned up tossed generously with shredded meat and a flavor that I initially thought was slightly underwhelming. I was expecting a stronger flavor from the ragout, but was reminded that this was suppose to be the meat of young ducks. The result was still a hearty pasta which I really wouldn't mind having again in subsequent visits.

The dessert on the other hand, and quite similary to a previous experience didn't quite make the mark for me. It was described as an apple pie with mascarpone and ricotta and then a la mode. There was definitely generous portions of semi crunchy chunks of apple in the hot and soft crusted pie, but I was left wondering where in the world did all that mascarpone and ricotta go.