Sunday, February 28, 2016

Revisiting Hakumai

Hakumai, sushi

Here's the sushi platter from the Hakumai Sushi Gozen teishoku. Which comes with soup, a truffle sauce chawanmushi and fruit. I suppose I could consider this middling standards as far as local sushi goes and I did enjoy it. I'm quite certain their omakase offers better but until then...

Saturday, February 27, 2016

PerBacco Enoteca con Cucina, Craig Road

PerBacco Enoteca con Cucina, Craig Road

We must have passed by this restaurant numerous times thinking from the facade that it was probably one of those bars that had appeared and will soon make way for another better player in a proverbial blink of an eye. Little did we know until recently that PerBacco (20 Craig Road, #01-03 Craig Place, tel : +65 6635 7130) was actually a proper Italian restaurant and one which had left us impressed at that.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Curry chicken and toasted bread from Killiney Kopitiam at Purvis Street

Killiney Kopitiam, curry chicken toasted bread

It's been a very long time since I've last stepped into a Killiney Kopitiam. Was pleasantly surprised after I did this one (30 Purvis Street) to break fast with their curry chicken. It wasn't bad at all; I enjoyed it and there was something about their toasted bread that made them special. In an aromatic way that is.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Sushiro, Thomson Plaza

This was a small local Japanese shop (#01-113F Thomson Plaza, 301 Upper Thomson Road). Very small space that doesn't seat many people but apparently accept reservations. They looked family run. Sushi there doesn't look very enticing as they appear to be the same quality as the mass market variety. So we haven't really tried anything else except their donburi which were pretty good.

Sushiro, premium chirashi

Monday, February 22, 2016

Swee Kee Fish Head Noodle House, Amoy Street

Some of the older folks will know this restaurant as Ka Soh (96 Amoy Street, tel : +65 6224 9920). An institution with a claim to fame for their fish soup noodles. I recall only one prior visit to them before today and that was just early this year if my memory serves.

Swee Kee Fish Head Noodle House, sum lou hor fun

The food was not bad, but places like this tends to get expectations up because of reputation. I thought their sum lou hor fun was a decent stir fry of flat rice noodles, bean sprouts and sliced fish; but nothing particularly memorable. I liked this dish in the first place so I suppose I'm generally not hard on them as long as it's competent. But there was really little that would make me think that this was better than another decent rendition.

Swee Kee Fish Head Noodle House, kung bao frog legs

I generally like kung bao frogs. The ones here were a little unexpected because they frogs had been deep fried to a crusty exterior before the stir fry. The result was tougher meat which was less succulent than I had been hoping for. With the kung bao gravy being forgettable and a rather expensive charge per frog, I'd have to be paid to eat this again. The last part was a joke. Haha. But I wouldn't order them again.

Swee Kee Fish Head Noodle House, kailan

We had their stir fried kailan the last time I was here. The vegetables were fresh and sweet. Better quality than many a same dish that one can get in a nicer Chinese restaurant. It's what many people would classify as a "must try".

Swee Kee Fish Head Noodle House, bean sprouts fish liver/stomach/intestines

This was bean sprouts stir fried with fish liver and stomach or intestine. We've definitely had better and I guess I was kinda disappointed since not many people do this particular dish much these days.

Swee Kee Fish Head Noodle House, prawn paste chicken

Har cheong kai. Competent too. Greasy enough without being excessively so and had sufficient flavour from the prawn paste.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Clinton Street Baking Co. & Restaurant, Purvis Street.

Clinton Street Baking Company (31 Purvis Street, tel : +65 6684 4845). From Manhattan's Lower East Side to Southern Singapore. We were definitely intrigued. Breakfast styled food has a certain inexplicable appeal anywhere in the world.

Clinton Street Baking Co., southern breakfast
Clinton Street Baking Co., southern breakfast

Here's their Southern Breakfast. Eggs, fried green tomatoes, sugar bacon and cheese grits. We liked this. Everything about it I guess. Those sugar bacons were literally sin incarnate. Sugar to make you fat, burnt ends to infuse you with carcinogens, both to feed cancer cells and the hardness to wreck your teeth. But sin was delicious.

Clinton Street Baking Co., lemon curd pancake
Clinton Street Baking Co., lemon curd pancake

We got pancakes because CSBC was known for them. We liked them too. I'm going to save myself the archetypal descriptions of nicely done pancakes because I'm sure we know what they're like. And they're like that. These lemon curd and coconut pancakes do have curd that's a little sweeter and eggier than it was citrusy sharp. But still very enjoyable. 

Clinton Street Baking Co., ham steak rosemary sausage

And sides of ham steaks (seriously steaks?) and rosemary maple sausages.

We had ran out of space but their apple pie and bourbon shakes looked and sounded good. With what we've ingested in a single seating, it's already enough calories that'll last an Ethiopian for a couple of weeks as all those richness crept back up our throats to settle into our double chins. So I guess we'll have to come back another time for those.

Friday, February 19, 2016


Juchheim Apfelbaum

Juchheim Apfelbaum

Juchheim Apfelbaum

Juchheim Apfelbaum

Juchheim Apfelbaum

Juchheim Apfelbaum

We got this from Juchheim at Takashimaya, the stall that sells baumkuchen or the cake probably known as Japanese kueh lapis to many. Just to clear the air, Juchheim is Japanese and that baumkuchen that looks like kueh lapis ring is a cake of German origins. So it's a Japanese brand doing a German cake in Singapore.

Anyway, this Apfelbaum has an apple inside; an apple marinated in lemon juice they said. Very nicely balanced sweet and tart while retaining more crunch than we had expected.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Japanese Restaurant Suju, Mandarin Gallery

Japanese Restaurant Suju, Mandarin Gallery

I've been wanting to try Suju (#04-05 Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Road, tel : +65 6737 7764) since I discovered them a few years back, but I haven't had the chance until very recently. Their food is not exotic by most stretches of imagination. They do not serve unusual frutti di mare or bugs. But they do deliver a solid teishoku experience.

tamago yaki

Japanese Restaurant Suju, tamago yaki

premium tempura course

Japanese Restaurant Suju, sashimi

Japanese Restaurant Suju, tempura

Japanese Restaurant Suju, tempura

australian wagyu sirloin steak teishoku

Japanese Restaurant Suju, wagyu sirloin steak teishoku

Japanese Restaurant Suju, wagyu sirloin steak

The quality of the food spoke for itself. Which was good. And so was that spoken for by the crowd during the weekend lunch and a tell tale sign of a rather large percentage of Japanese clientele. Their tamago yaki was bouncily delicious, piping hot with a sweet and savoury taste. Steak was competent and tasty while the sashimi from the tempura course was pretty good quality. Hell, even the tomato from the 6 appetizer tray was sweet. Loved the miso topped nasu too.  I think you get the idea.

But as much as I thought that their quality commensurated the prices they charged, the food can cost quite a bit. But hey, it's not like I'm not willing to drop a little more dole for good food. The only gripe I had was the pickles that came with the rice. I had expected radish but this place serves cabbage - spiked with ginger.

I wished we had started coming earlier though. 

Japanese Restaurant Suju, Mandarin Gallery

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Janggut Laksa and the Queensway Original Curry Chicken

Janggut Laksa, Queensway

I've had the Katong styled laksa (an appropriate description?) at Queensway Shopping Centre (1 Queensway) from some years back but have only taken note of the names of the stalls in the more recent ones. This Janggut stall which claims to be the original Katong laksa started off in a push cart stall from the 50s. And there's the other 328 Katong Laksa stall located in the same floor nearby which also claims to come from Katong. 

I'm not about to go into which came first or into their history. Just this Janggut stall which also shares its triangular premise with the curry chicken stall. This laksa was fairly rich with coconut milk, flavoured with the aroma of dried shrimps and had a humming heat from the chilli. Pretty good stuff. Pretty generic of me to describe as such as well but I know of no metrics to measure the quality. 

The chicken cutlet rice with curry ladled over coming from the curry chicken stall kinda surprised me by how delicious it was in a homely sort of way. Even if the chicken cutlets were mostly pre-fried. And yes, I had both servings in a single seating. A guarantee if any to send one into a post lunch coma.

Queensway curry chicken cutlet rice

Saturday, February 13, 2016

928 Yishun Laksa

928 Yishun Laksa

I've had laksa from this shop (Blk 928 Yishun Central 1 #01-155) several times over many years but had somehow never mentioned it. Until now that is. It's the laksa without prawns. Pretty popular laksa without prawns. One gets crab sticks instead. And the prices have been creeping up, albeit slowly. But their rempah has a pretty good flavour and the resulting gravy has what I opine to be a good balance for flavour, coconut milk and viscosity. It's not thin like some pathetically weak bowls, nor is it so rich that it cannot endure. That and their chilli paste with a nice hum of heat and the flavour of dried shrimps.

All in all a very decent bowl. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Balestier Frog Porridge arisen from the ashes

Balestier Fresh Frog Porridge, kung bao frog legs

Not exactly trotting along the metaphorical lines here but this coffee shop (567 Balestier Road) was gutted by fire a couple of years ago. If you Google Map this address and get the street view at this point of time, you can still see the 2015 picture that shows the place still boarded up from the renovations. I remembered that the place was left as a charred husk for a while before they fixed the place up. And yes, in that literal way it is back from the ashes of the old stall.

Anyways, the stall is called Balestier Fresh Frog Porridge today, a different name from previously. One might assume that it's a different stall, but I'm thinking it's the same. The same luxuriant kung bao gravy that works its comforting sweet slow burn from the sliced bits of chilli padi and tender slurp off the bone frog meat. I should come by more often.

Monday, February 08, 2016

This year's last reunion dinner

cny reunion dinner lou hei

Last reunion dinner here simply refers to the last one possible before the lunar new year begins its next cycle. So this usually happens in an informal fashion at home. Not at a restaurant where proprieties of any sort when eating with others are observed. 

cny reunion dinner lou hei

This is usually the time when I get the yu sheng I want. The one without the horrible shreds of ginger which I detest.

cny reunion dinner lou hei

Where we pop in things like loads of pomelo and pomegranate seeds to spruce up flavours.

cny reunion dinner lou hei

We skipped the raw fish this year and substituted those with smoked duck. 年年有鸭? Though I'd rather 年年有鹅 so that I can look forward to an annual fix at Yat Lok or Kam's.

cny reunion dinner lou hei

Made a similar mess out of the yu sheng tossing. Huat ah?

cny reunion dinner lou hei, sotong balls

We had fried squid balls.

cny reunion dinner lou hei, bacon sausage brown sugar glaze

Bacon wrapped sausages oven roasted with a brown sugar glaze.

cny reunion dinner lou hei, zucchini pasta

And a feeble attempt at making zucchini pasta which we've tried to mimic from the one we had at Afterglow. We'll do better the next time round.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Speaking of my current favourite burger...

Luke's Oyster Bar & Chop House, travis burger

I've gotten rid of the fries. I liked pretty much everything I've had at Luke's but their fries. Maybe it's their seasoning that doesn't agree with me.  So this was a kind of a trip back to reassure myself that the Travis burger is still as good and also to divest myself of the memories of some of the not so good ones I've had lately. The next time, I'll lose those vegetables that comes with the top bun. And maybe after that, lose the steak and burger routine for lunch. Speaking of buns, they're using black sesame seed buns these days instead of the old poppyseed ones. I liked those poppyseed buns!

Luke's Oyster Bar & Chop House, bloody mary

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

The beef burger at The Naked Finn

The Naked Finn, beef burger

The Naked Finn has introduced a beef burger on their lunch menu which features meat from a blend of dry aged grass fed beef with Japanese A4 wagyu. They said it was done medium well but the actual patty bordered almost on well done which I felt was too cooked for a better appreciation. Anyway, I couldn't tell much of a difference with the pedigreed and aged meat blend. The intensified flavour which I was hoping for simply didn't come through. Which was a pity. While I don't dislike it, I think I like their seafood options much better. Certainly not gonna beat my current favourite soon. Oh yes, seems like these guys aren't immune to the Truffle Fries Syndrome that's been sweeping the country.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Cod fish soup noodle from Amara Hotel

Amara Hotel, Cafe Oriental cod fish soup noodle

To be precise, this was at Cafe Oriental at Amara Hotel (1F, Amara Hotel, 165 Tanjong Pagar Road). One of numerous symbolic Asian retro-ish type of restaurant that one can find in local hotels to represent local cuisine - often at the upper crust. A friend had recommended me some time back to try their cod fish soup bee hoon. The broth was really lightweight - perhaps even a little bland for some. I had been expecting a lot more flavour coming from a hotel's kitchen but I supposed it was nothing a splash of soy sauce and a few slices of chilli padi cannot fix. I was also hoping that they'd add evaporated milk even but there wasn't any of that. The thick chunks of fried cod were pretty good and the vegetables were of good quality. Still it was kinda expensive at $20 for food that I could only hanker for when I'm ill.