Saturday, October 29, 2011

Whole pork fillet tonkatsu and tempura asari from Tampopo

Tampopo, pork fillet tonkatsu

It seems that every time we visit Tampopo, these guys would come up with something new on their tonkatsu menu. The foie gras stuffed rendition which I had from the last time seemed to have become a permanent item on menu now. There's been so much items on the menu that I haven't actually ordered anything twice from their selection of fried pork cutlets. This time round, they have come up with what appeared to be the whole tenderloin for a small pig!
  Tampopo, pork fillet tonkatsu

The katsu was covered in a golden brown breading. The lean meat didn't have much flavour but was quite tender and juicy. Sauces and dips on the side made up for for the taste. Nothing that a little squeeze of lemon or a dip of shoyu or ponzu dressing couldn't fix.

Tampopo, tempura asari

We got an order of the asari tempura for novelty's sake. Never had tempura clams with the shell on before. They tasted much like how they looked. The tempura batter was nothing to write home about. For those few clams that arrived, the dish didn't represent good value from what the restaurant charged for them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lee Kui (Ah Hoi) Restaurant, Mosque Street

This restaurant (8/9/10 Mosque Street, tel : +65 6222 3654) is an institution for rustic Teochew food.

Lee Kui (Ah Hoi) Restaurant, pork aspicpork aspic

We started off with an order of pork in aspic. Little chunks of pig trapped in a chilled gelatinous stock. This would be considered an Asian cold cut of sorts which is unfortunately, not commonly found anymore. I was glad to discover that the flavour of the stock could be found in the jelly surrounding the meat.

Lee Kui (Ah Hoi) Restaurant, hae choliver rolls and prawn balls (hae cho)

The next dish that was to quickly follow were assorted deep fried rolls of liver and chestnut along with prawn balls. I was expecting more liver-y flavour from the liver rolls, but the taste was quite moderated. Both the rolls and balls were pretty tasty and weren't excessively greasy.

Lee Kui (Ah Hoi) Restaurant, braised duckTeochew styled braised duck

There was also a plate of braised duck in dark sauce which is one of the hallmarks of Teochew cuisine. It was quite tasty, but I wouldn't say that it's one of the better ducks that we've had.

Lee Kui (Ah Hoi) Restaurant, oyster omeletteoyster omelette

The oyster omelette was a winner here. Unlike the common variety that one can find in hawker centres, there isn't any flour involved in the omelette. It was a hundred percent slab of fried beaten egg that was topped with semi-cooked small fat oysters and spring onion leaves.

Lee Kui (Ah Hoi) Restaurant, sea cucumbersea cucumber stuffed with minced pork patty

The texture of the sea cucumber was a little chewy but no real complains here about this dish. At what the restaurant charged, I am guessing that they aren't of the top tier quality sea cucumbers.

Lee Kui (Ah Hoi) Restaurant, cold crabscold crab

Cold crabs were pretty good. The flesh was a little stiff from the cold but tasted sweet. The bodies were filled with heady tasting crab fat (tomally).

Lee Kui (Ah Hoi) Restaurant, orh neeorh nee

Dessert was another tradition item of yam paste with sweetened pumpkin and ginko nuts. No lard and fried shallots in there for the aroma but I guess it was still one of the better done ones outside of a pricey Chinese restaurant.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A second take on Ikkousha

Ikkousha, charshu ramen
The pictures on the menu of Ikkousha's charshu ramen seemed to suggest large sheets of ham like charshu similar to what they have at Keisuke's Tonkotsu King rather than these thicker sliced pieces of meat that they had actually served. Even though I am not complaining, I need to admit that they didn't do as nicely in the department of pork in comparison with Gantetsu (which had excellent soft sliced charshu by the way) or even Tetsu. Still the volume of meat was almost on par with the servings of the not so chewy noodle in a bowl that was laden to the brim.

Yes, I think their Hakata styled noodles here was a little of a let down as they weren't as chewy as I would have liked. The broth tasted thicker than I remember it from the first time and to expand on my thoughts on their particular brand of tonkotsu broth, was really tastier right at the start as soon as you had your first mouthful. The strength of this stronger and smoky tasting rendition however, might not have held out in a test of time against a more regular broth that feels almost "clearer". This particular strength of theirs in terms of a robust flavour wore off pretty fast if one ate too slowly once the weight and the singular dimensions kicked in.

The ajitama today tasted like plain boiled eggs!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tetsu from Ramen Champion

Tetsu, Very Rich Special Paitan Tsukemen
I've been hearing quite a bit of mention on the Very Rich Special Paitan Tsukemen from Ramen Champion and curiosity got the better of me. What is suppose to be special from this stall is a rich viscous broth that was made from pork, chicken and seafood. I really couldn't identify any of the former two flavors as the dominant one was a smoky bonito base that wasn't really very different from the uobushi tonkotsu from the defunct Kusabi. Tetsu just created a richer version in tsukemen style.

I did enjoy this more nonetheless, even if the thick firm noodles felt a little sparse with only a single slice of charshu and tiny strips of menma. The dispenser with the light dashi stock that could be added to the remaining dipping broth would have been a better idea for me if not for those blazing spotlights.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Jellyfish in my ramen


Here's the hiyashi chuka from Baikohken. And what I didn't expect to find in the cold ramen today were chilled jellyfish. I suppose it made a lot of sense to put them in since they certainly enhanced to some extent, the textures of the already springy cold noodles together with the crunch from the shreds of cucumbers. It was certainly fun to eat for that and their unassuming agi tama tasted much more flavorful of the soy sauce that the looks might suggest. The generous slices of almost tuna like charshu were enjoyable as well.

Based on my somewhat limited experience with hiyashi chuka, I'm going to rate this as my second favorite because the number one spot sealed the deal with a sesame based sauce which I prefer over the shoyu variety that this was.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dry ba chor mee sua from Yan Kee

Yan Kee, mee sua

The specialty from this stall (21 South Bridge Road, BK Eating House) is their minced meat noodles which comes with mee sua rather than the usual mee kia or mee pok. Beside that, it was also a bowl of ba chor mee without sliced pig liver. The default portion was definitely small for a hungry person at $3.50. 

So how did that go? The bowl turned out to be pretty good and I liked it. Using mee sua allowed the flavours of their mixed sauce to be absorbed rather than just being coated over the surface of the noodles. What stood out were the vinegar and some heat from the chilli. Wouldn't mind eating them again if I were round the corner but I think they're a little pricey for such puny portions. The fish balls that they're selling looked pretty big. Maybe the next time.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Oso revisited


This was an overdue visit back to Oso. Have been wanting to come back for quite a while. Strangely, the service was almost exactly like how it was in the previous visit. A little splotchy, but not enough that I would make a fuss over. It was as if they wanted to not get just that little bit right.


Their servings of bread hasn't changed. I still like their cake-y textured foccacia and like the previous visit, I asked for seconds.

Italian mixed cold cut “affettati” served with shallot, onion and gherkin

We started off with a nice savory platter of cold cuts which included prosciutto di Parma, bresaola and some mortadella ham.

Pan fried eggs “tegamino” with black truffle purée and mixed cheese fondue

This was quickly followed up by a rather hearty combination of eggs and cheese with truffle puree and thin slices of crispy bread. I wouldn't have minded if it were regular non toasted bread as well. This would truly make a very awesome breakfast. But too bad Oso doesn't do breakfast.

With black truffle “tartufo” puree and mascarpone cheese

The flavors of the black truffle puree risotto and mascarpone cheese were very good in a simple and direct way. There was really nothing much but the savory factor apart from three prominent flavors of truffle, the cheese and pepper. This was marred by the fact that the rice was slightly under done and that the "splotch" of the service staff insisted that it was done just right and was suppose to be al dente. I suppose he either couldn't care less about a feedback or thought we didn't know anything.

Pan roasted sea bass with fennel and coffee and thick potato sauce

I made an uncommon decision to order fish off their daily menu. And I really liked this. The thick potato sauce was really a finely mashed potato puree and the coffee that went into this dish was barely registered. But the fish tasted fresh and juicy beneath the crisp of the charred skin.

Oven baked almond “Amaretto” liquor cake, Amaretti ice cream

Almond-ish dessert. Not too bad there.