Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bon Goût, Robertson Quay

Found another place which I could get myself some pretty good home styled Japanese cooking right down at Robertson Quay (60 Robertson Quay, #01-01 The Quayside, S238252). After hearing about the rather unfortunate change of management down at Wasabi Tei, Bon Goût could just be the next best thing to happen. Funny thing is, I've actually eaten here once quite a few years back. Didn't really register much except for the fact that the shop was a bookstore of sorts as well. This time round, I found myself liking the food that I dropped by in consecutive nights for dinner.

With little idea of what was good from the place apart from what I had heard about their curry, I decided to wander off the beaten path to try something else. Landed myself a maguro zuke don and their beef steak don. Both of which turned out to be good choices. I couldn't really identify what about the tuna that was great. Perhaps it was the fact that the slices of tuna was of a suitable temperature. The result was tender and flavourful meat. Delicious with just a drizzle of shoyu and accompanied with a bit of that strong wasabi, it was something that I couldn't get enough of. Already deciding to come back again.

The beef steak don came in a form of sliced pan fried beef done medium with little but shoyu and butter. This was also really good stuff. These couple of dons have assured my return at least for the next couple of times.

2nd dinner

Having had a good impression of their "beef steak" we tried their beef steak curry with rice which was very decent by its own. But it wasn't something that wowed me that I would order again soon. I would have preferred enjoy the flavours of the beef without having the sweetish and mildly spicy curry come into the picture. But still, it wasn't bad at all.

Another pleasant surprise came from their curry pork udon which featured a more savoury curry in comparison to the one that was used for the rice. I don't order udon much and I guess this would be one of those times that I'm pretty glad that I did. The noodles were soft and springy without being overly chewy and I'm guessing that this ought to be the correct texture. Now that Wakashachiya is no longer around, this would probably be the next place I'll be seeing myself getting curry udon. The generous portions of shabu thin slices of pork buried underneath that savoury curry made up for it. Awesome option for those cool weathers if only they would come more frequently.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Ootoya again and again!

I'm getting to like Ootoya quite a bit. Even though the Atka mackerel didn't endear itself to me because it had so many bones which made them a hassle to eat. We've actually been back here a couple of times again and tried out more of their teishoku set dinners. The appeal was because these guys weren't very expensive  and the food was unpretentiously comforting and unsophisticated. Those were pretty compelling reasons.

The fried chicken with orange sauce set was unexpectedly good. I was thinking that the orange sauce would be viscous taste like the local sweet and sour variety. It wasn't as thick. The flavour was savory and sour.

I also liked their Japanese hamburg. I'm thinking that these guys could just give Ma Maison a run for the money. The quality of the beef patty was pretty good. This one I had was with the plum sauce option (there is also the regular demiglace option as well) and daikon. Tasted very much like how I imagined it. Pretty glad that their beefy patty wasn't ruined by excessive fillers. I could see myself looking forward to this.

The tonkatsu was a little disappointing. The meat was fine but batter felt a little too thick and greasy for my liking. I'll pick Tonkichi over this any day.

There was a cold spinach dish with sweet black sesame paste and some black beans. Liked it.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Another lunch at Sushi Yoshida

Sushi Yoshida
It's been some time since my last visit. Noticed a couple of changes. For starters, the plastic lobster under the bridge at the entrance of the restaurant doesn't exist anymore. I'm not sure where that crawled to but the area where it once resided is now filled with plants. Also, it seems that there's otoro these days in the chirashi box. Or has that become the norm?

I decided to try something different today and ordered a unagi shiroyaki set from the lunch menu (the onsen tamago from the lunch set is still good). As implied in the name, the eel is white as they were grilled without the tare and the flavouring comes from the accompanying shoyu and grated wasabi. The eel was served hot from the grill with the oils on the surface of the fish still bubbling. It was okay. I was actually thinking that it might have tasted something like anago but I guess they're just different.

Sushi Yoshida, unagi shiroyakiSushi Yoshida, uni gunkan
I recalled that I've never actually had uni here so here's the obligatory uni test for myself. This stuff was pretty damned good. Although they weren't as chilled as I would have liked, the creamy texture and aroma made up for it. It seemed that there is a typhoon happening in Japan according to the chef and that the prices of uni had gone up. Although the restaurant didn't raise any prices, the prices of the uni gunkan here were already one of the higher ones I've come across. In the end, it still etched a smile on me so I guess that was the thing that really counted for $16 a pop.

Sushi Yoshida, chirashi
And then, there was still the chirashi. But I'm pretty sure enough's been said about them. Nice of them to have otoro instead of chutoro as they did serve previously. I've thus incentive to come back again for that. I've noticed, the sushi set for the lunch looked pretty decent as well. Hmmmmmmmm...

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Xin Wang Taiwan Cafe, Citylink Mall

Only at the second time when I passed by this place (#B1-23 CityLink Mall, Raffles Link, tel : +65 6341 9542) that I did a double take and realised that this was actually a Taiwan themed cafe instead of the usual HK cafe that Xin Wang has numerous branches of. I was never one for those HK cafes that seemed to be opening everywhere else. Some of those franchised outlets might have been interesting when they first appeared but after a while, success formulas inevitably get whored with the same template applied repeatedly and en mass. What we eventually got was just mediocre food that was priced way above what it was worth. The situation was also saddened by the fact that I could probably cook more than a handful of what they had on menu myself at home. There was little reason why I would walk into one of them. 

But this was the Taiwan version and being the sucker for stuff like lu rou fan, I bit onto the bait.

We didn't end up with the lu rou fan. It was the mei cai kou rou fan (braised pork belly with mustard greens) that got us instead. While it didn't look great, the taste of it was pretty decent. The sliced pork belly underneath the gooey vegetable stew was actually not bad at all. I meant, with fats that would disintegrate in the mouth. 

The beef bowl with rice was edible. Nothing special in particular. I'm looking at you, solid egg yolk. Still in search for a good beef bowl that would bowl me over. 

There was a crispy fried pig intestines which was done with very little seasoning. No complains about that though. Also ordered a very regular deep fried chicken similar to those one could find in the night market. These were a little better done in comparison.

Dessert was also pleasant as well. It was listed on the menu as a peanut smoothie and I was thinking of a peanut shake of some sort. Turns out that, it was something akin to a frozen version of peanut paste that one could find in Cantonese dessert shops. The frozen peanut paste was covered by peanut butter and blanketed in finely ground peanuts. This was nice.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Gary Baldy

I've been meaning to come back to Garibaldi for some time because it's been a while since we've eaten here. This would make our first visit since they time they closed up for renovations, re-opened and inched up prices noticeably higher from the time before. Still, one could find pastas at a price that could reasonably be considered non exorbitant or overpriced. I did have some good impressions of them from before.

Lunch started with prosciutto & gnocco. It was described on the menu as a Romagna fried dough. Might have been street food from its place of origins and possibly something one could get real cheap since the price of it was pretty much about the parma ham that came along. The taste of the freshly fried dough was akin to a sugarless fried doughnut or from another perspective of it, hum chim pang. The fun part about eating it was that one could just stuff the thinly sliced Parma ham into them before eating. It was otherwise pretty much as it looked.

One of the reasons for wanting to come back again was also, the selection of risotto that the restaurant has these days on the menu. One of those that got me curious was the risotto alla carbonara which was basically, a carbonara styled risotto which I've never tried before.

The risotto was on the whole rather predictable in taste. Was both eggy and cheesy at the same time with defined beads of rice that was cooked in the cream reduction. I thought this was comforting as a dish for a bit before it become little boring. Why? Portions were rather generous for something that was so rich in texture and there wasn't much dimensions. The crispy parma ham on the top was....meh.

What was unexpectedly good was their cannelloni stuffed with minced wagyu beef that came in a cheese sauce and leek confit. Strange as it might sound, what won me over was the beef which reminded me of that braised boar stracci from Oso. It was a brand of savoury delicious. There was a bonus in the cheese sauce which contained Gorgonzola - an icing equivalent if this was cake. Unfortunately, the sauce came in really miserable portions. Leeks were pretty good if ordinary.

You might have already noticed, this lunch was filled with rolls. With stuffings. Even for dessert. Did not have much expectations for their cannolo siciliano. Not that I think they're not good but they did turn out much nicer than the "no expectations" that I've had for it. We enjoyed the creamy ricotta fillings that were encrusted with a generous amounts of pistachio at the ends. The bar of chocolate that the pastry rested on was even filled with more of the pistachio stuff. Unexpected pleasant surprise there.