Sunday, June 24, 2012

Kookabura Restaurant and Gastrobar, Albert Court Village Hotel

Kookabura (180 Albert Court, #01-09 Albert Court Village Hotel, tel : +65 8522 2365) is apparently an all day breakfast food kind of place. The ambiance was laid back with a modern-ish chill out vibe from the music and rustic food that could have benefited in presentation from similarly rustic crockery. Loved the food. Awesome grease butter egg protein salt and other carbohydrate stuff that is good that I wouldn't mind coming back to again.

The only dampener about the place was that it ran out of items and the wait staff never knew until an order was processed. It needs to communicate a lot more with itself.

The Kookabura was essentially their big breakfast plate. Strips of thinly sliced lamb proscuitto folded within scramble eggs were awesome. Enjoyed the mint green pea mash. Bacon was bacon. Lamb sausages was gamey, which I liked. Rump steak was flavorful, nicely grilled on the outside, medium well done on the inside and not overly tough. Sun dried tomato damper was great, the dense texture reminded me a little of corn bread/English scones. All in all, it was hearty and tasty and definitely what I could look forward to in the morning. Perhaps, the only gripe was that I would have very much preferred to not be scrounging for more food after a $28 breakfast.

The other item they had on menu that we thought was pretty well done, though in an unexpected manner was their corned beef hash which was a sort of baked casserole of eggs, onions, potatoes, corned beef and Gruyere cheese. The attention to each component on plate was noteworthy. Very much enjoyed their toasted rye which seemed to have a cheesy crust thing.

Friday, June 22, 2012

SSC chicken rice from The Palms

SSC chicken rice, the palms

I've had this (yes, the menu does call it SSC Chicken Rice) over a few times at The Palms (45 Tanjong Rhu Road, inside Singapore Swimming Club, tel : +65 6342 3679) and as chicken rice went, it wasn't bad at all. 

What I liked here were the tender cuts of the deboned thigh and their limey chilli (still not on par with the one from Tian Tian). The rice had flavour that was more subtle and the grease wasn't as heavy. That part was also probably one of the elements that isn't quite consistent as I remember the grainy textures being fluffier sometimes and dryer at another. Still, a very viable alternative to tide over cravings.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Brunch @ Artichoke

This was a very enjoyable brunch from the folks at Artichoke who seem to be doing very well for themselves, judging from the crowd. I liked that the food had its identity and the attempt a local sourcing produce ingredients has made a very good showcase of what ever little produce we actually grow in this country. Namely the mushrooms and the eggs that I know of.

If I had to pick some things about what I liked about the food, the scrambled eggs were smooth, tasty and generous in portions. I did like their maple glazed smoked bacon chop which certainly lived up to the moniker of meat candy. Certainly enjoyed the open faced lamb ham sandwich over flat bread that had impeccably timed sunny side ups for dips and both pickles and crumbled feta for flavors.

Will come back. 


Saturday, June 16, 2012

A local breakast of glutinous rice, double eggs and luncheon meat

A savory meal of fat, protein and carbohydrates to start the day. Whatever it might bring.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thai red curry chicken from The Canteen

In the few times that I've been down to The Canteen (1 Scotts Road, #01-01B Shaw Centre, tel : +65 6738 2276), I have always discounted their Thai red curry chicken and never gave it more than a cursory glance on the menu. I tend to be skeptical about any Thai whathaveyous when it's not done by a Thai restaurant. Today, I saw that red curry chicken on the neighbouring table and decided that it looked pretty good.

Was pretty impressed. The viscous and rich tasting gravy possessed a spicy kick I had not expected and definitely made an awesome pairing to the rice that they gave. Something else to look forward to here other than the X.O. lou shi fan and laksa after all.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Porridge King, Upper Thomson Road

The Porridge King, Upper Thomson Road

This was a bit of an unusual spot down at Upper Thomson Road (906F Upper Thomson Road , tel : +65 6600 5405) along a stretch of old shophouses. The place, Porridge King is apparently run by a bodybuilding Alvin Koh whom was also known as the Naked Chef. Press articles are plastered all over the front of the establishment.

What made the place unusual was also the crimson stained decor, golden framed mirrors and the plastic furnishing that made the place feel like a cafe or a watering hole rather than an eatery known for Chinese porridge. I was challenged to link the place to the food.

To credit, their Supreme century egg porridge was pretty well done. I liked the savoury flavours and viscous consistency, along with the fact that it was filled quite generously with bits of both century and salted eggs, shredded bits of chicken and conpoy

There was also a bunch of small bites including to my dismay, some battered deep fried prawns that were neither shelled nor de-veined. Altogether greasy in an unappealing manner that was disappointingly lacklustre. In honestly, it wasn't appealing at all and the porridge was definitely the only thing going on here that was good.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Salta re-visited

Not so much about the beef for me to further mention since I've previously talked about how I felt about their rib eye. Apparently, they were consistent with that. It seemed that there are flavoured butter options which one can include now. This jamon iberico butter tasted like it had blue cheese in it. Definitely enhanced the grilled meat though not exactly in ways I had expected.

What impressed us this visit was their smoked tomato soup which I did not think was available the last time. The smoked aroma was impressively well bodied in a cream base that was non too heavy. Also redolent with the flavour of the tomato. Bonus points goes to the thin garlic and cheese toast. This could be something I'll come back for again. That and their very nicely done up garlic mashed potato which was surprisingly addictive.

Avoid their beef burgers. For a place that specializes in grilled meats, the patties were atrociously bad.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chicken Up, Tanjong Pagar

Chicken Up, Tanjong Pagar

Over the course of the past decade, the strip along Tanjong Pagar road has evolved more than a little in with an array of non local food options. Noticeably so if I might say. We've experience a share of French (Gavroche, L'Entrecote), a smattering of Italian (Buko Nero, Etna, Latteria Mozzarella Bar, Pasta Brava), Japanese (Inaho's Kitchen Bar, Keisuke Tonkotsu King) and the occasional Chinese and even Australian. We obviously haven't had the time to explore them all. Most notably, Korean restaurants (Kko Kko Nara, ChoWon Garden) have really mushroomed in this stretch.

Chicken Up (48 Tanjong Pagar Road, #01-01, tel : +65 6327 1203) happened to be another one of those Korean restaurants that have been around (duration unbeknownst to me) that had caught my attention lately. As the name might have also suggested, they specialize in chicken. Fried chicken. Given my limited experiences with Korean fried chicken, I'm going to go out on a limb to tip my hat to them for doing a darn good job.

I'm talking meaty birds with shatteringly crispy batter that didn't hold the slightest amount of excessive grease along with tender meat that were literally dripping with juices. It's pretty much what I've described.

Chicken Up, Tanjong Pagar

What we didn't expect to discover in a fried chicken joint was an item on menu described as fresh blood soup. That was essentially a spicy vegetable and cow blood broth with chunks of bouncy textured (imagine fishcakes) blood that was a blast of spicy and umami. I liked that the vegetables were well boiled to the point where it was soft yet still lightly crunchy. Together with the soup, it was perfect with the soft sticky rice they served.

Dislikes? Banchan while waiting would have been great, but instead what they had was a forgettable free flow of salad. Air conditioning also needs work.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Two Blur Guys, Tanjong Pagar

This looks to be a relatively new joint for burgers and pastries down at Orchid Hotel (1 Tras Link, Orchid Hotel) facing the Tanjong Pagar market. Run by Jimmy Chok.

They have a prime beef burger (for $12.50) that's stacked with gruyere and slapped with a little truffle mayo that was honestly pretty good. The meat was both flavourful and running with juices, cooked with a nice amount of char aroma and crust on the outside. The only little gripe was the truffle mayo. The truffle flavour was a little too mild and they should consider adding a lot more for impression/intimidation or not at all since this burger was actually good enough on its own.  Duck rillette sandwich was cold and very salty.

I'm probably dropping by again sometime.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Yummy Recipes, Cresent @ Kallang

 Yummy Recipes, Kallang

Quite a bit of food that we ordered at Yummy Recipes (7 Kallang Pudding Road, #01-08, tel : +65 6636-0603). Also an unexpectedly fancy decor for a restaurant located in an industrial region. 

In the interest of making this short(er) and sweet, here were some of the mention worthy.
  • Roasted pork belly was good with crispy crackling and tender meat. It wasn't very fatty.
  • Both the fried rice had a nice beady texture but the olive plate didn't have enough of flavour from olives and the pork belly one smelt a lot nicer than there were flavours.
  • Sucking pig was pretty good, but nothing comparable to those in Hong Kong.
  • Pig stomach soup was pretty good with a strong peppery flavour. But I heard it was thickened by cornstarch.
  • Assam curry fish head was awesome. It was a rich creamy curry, robustly flavoured with the sour from probably both assam and pineapples that were cooked in them. That viscous curry was vibrant from the fruits, not flat. Only gripe was for $25, there was only half a fish head. Expensive. This was included in the menu as a local dish option, not a specialty from their Shanghainese chef obviously.
  • Crispy noodles with seafood was very tasty as well. Generous portions of egg and seafood.
roasted pork belly

olive fried rice

pork belly fried rice

appetizer platter

suckling pig

double boiled soup of chicken stuffed in pig's stomach

Penang assam curry fish head

obligatory greens
crispy fried noodles with seafood

stir fried mee sua

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Island Cafe, Tangs Orchard

Island Cafe, Tangs Orchard
I was first introduced to this place (310 & 320 Orchard Road, Level 4 TANGS Orchard, tel : +65 6311 3424) which serves what many would describe as atas local food years ago by a friend. Since then I've only been here a few times. With said friend. In all that few times, I've only ever ordered the crayfish laksa. Recommendations of said friend. Until today.

Island Cafe, crayfish laksa

Their crayfish laksa was pretty heart clogging good. Rich coconut infusion into the moderately spicy broth. Tau pok, slices of fish cake, quail eggs. And of course, crayfish that wasn't obscenely tiny and also not overcooked. One could taste the sweetness from the meat still.
Island Cafe, penang char kuey teow

Their Penang char kuey teow was a decently done plate of stir fried rice noodles. Well fried, not too soggy, laced with fresh tasting ingredients and probably not like how it is done in Penang. But I suppose a rather good local rendition. A little mild in the department of flavour though.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Breakfast at Club Street Social

The crostinis were excellent. Imagine chilled creamy ricotta with a slice of briney anchovy and a sprinkle of citrus salt. All that on top of crispy sliced toast. The flavors brought together pretty much screamed 'Japanese!' for me.

Lobster bisque was actually pretty decent. Served hot and with enough of that crustacean flavors without being luxuriant like the rendition from Morton's with cream and brandy. Unfortunately the truffle egg toast was woefully inadequate for flavor and their ribeye panini featured meat that was both nicely done medium rare but yet very lacking in the natural flavors of the beef. For a moment, I was torn about how to feel about the sandwich, but I think I will probably never order it again.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

ChoWon Garden, Peck Seah Street

I've been wanting to drop by this place (2 Peck Seah Street, #01-01 Air View Building, tel : +65 6225 1317) for dinner for quite some time. Tonight finally happened.

ChoWon Garden, banchan

It started as usual with a selection of banchan. We didn't get any refills this time round. Not that any was really needed.

ChoWon Garden, jaeyuk bosam kimchi

Notable mention went to the jaeyuk bosam kimchi which was marinated pork belly with kimchi. The slices of pork were served piping hot while the kimchi (which contained a few raw oysters) was almost icy cold. The chilled kimchi from this dish was stronger in flavour than the crunchier ones from the banchan which were less fermented. Eaten with the slices of pork, the taste altogether became different than if one were to eat either the pork or the kimchi separately. Couldn't really describe how it was, but we thought the synergy of flavours was good.

ChoWon Garden, oyster omelette

There was a dish of fried oyster battered in egg which was pretty decent if ordinary. They tasted like how they looked.

ChoWon Garden, sundae kuk

ChoWon Garden has a Korean spicy sausage soup call sundae kuk. It was served bubbling hot and the broth was redolent with a heavy umami flavour that was probably infused by what seems to be tang hoon stuffed sausage (amidst some other stuff that looked like it might be blood). And bits of fatty, some chewy, some crunchy cartilage like bits of unknown parts that had been simmering in the spicy broth. It was very delicious.

Certainly wouldn't mind revisiting again in spite of that air conditioning that can barely be felt.