Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Simply Wrapps

Believe it or not, I've been wanting to try the wraps here for some time. I'm pretty sure it was because I've strolled past their shop so many times looking into those bright colours of seduction and soon enough, the repetitive play of the luscious ingredients have insidiously insinuated to my subconsciousness suggesting "come get some....you know you want to...". Yes please.  Like a moth to a flame.

Actually, they aren't bad. I kinda liked the Iron Rich wrap with the feta cheese, raisins and beans. It tasted a lot more satisfying than a fruity spinach edamame roll which I concocted. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Durian mousse double shot from Dessert Bowl

Dessert Bowl, durian mousse double shot

So Dessert Bowl has come up with a double shot option for their durian mousse which includes...*cues Dave Lombardo drum roll*.... another lump of durian pulp. So that's two there instead of just one. Still a guilty pleasure, albeit costlier than before. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Chomping @ Chomp Chomp

Been a really long time since I last ate at Chomp Chomp (20 Kensington Park Rd). I recall that there was once upon a time when we would have visited at least a few times a year. This visit was probably the only one in quite a number of recent years. I'm not sure if it's just me but it has gotten a lot more smokier than I remember.

Here's a plate spinach wanton noodles from Swee Heng Wanton Noodle (#01-12). Pretty decent plate and what made it really palatable was their chilli sauce which packed some umami heat. Wantons were smooth skinned, had rather tasty stuffings and I liked those caramelized bits from their char siew. If they had been located somewhere else more accessible, I could see me eating this more regularly.

At the entrance of Chomp Chomp is a shop called I-Chai (#01-19) that is known largely for their poh piah, kueh pie tee and Fuzhou oyster cakes. The roll with visible stuffings is known as their sushi poh piah. They've added a seaweed wrap around the skin and some cheap but deliciously creamy melty plastic wrapped cheese. The other roll has century eggs in the stuffings. You know what? Both spring rolls were pretty good. But as poh piah went, this stall was also kinda pricey.

We ordered a dozen skewers from Chomp Chomp Satay (#01-34), the stall that was selling at 60 cents a stick when the rest of the other stalls were going at 50 cents. We told ourselves that we've interpreted that as confidence but honestly, I have no idea why these guys costed more. In retrospect we had no complains. Those satay was quite nice but we hadn't any idea if the others were as good since we haven't tried any of them.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Revisiting Sandaime Bunji

It's been quite some time since the last visit.

Sandaime Bunji, sashimi

There was 50% off for their mixed sashimi and we took advantage of it. What they served was actually pretty good. There was akami, otoro, shime saba, some white fish which I didn't recognize, sake harasu and tako. The quality of the fishes were pretty decent and they provided grated wasabi.

Sandaime Bunji, gyu katsu

Hmmmm...what have we here? Gyu tenderloin katsu set from the lunch menu? To displace Ginza Kushi Katsu's claim as the only gyu katsu shop in town? This was cheaper and on hindsight, a much more satisfying option than the one from Ginza Kushi Katsu. Personally, I felt that the tonkatsu sauce here was also more agreeable and we too get the sea salt option for the meat. 

Sandaime Bunji, gyu katsu

While they didn't allow a specified doneness for the meat, their gyu tenderloin was well cooked, not dried out and still tender.

Sandaime Bunji, black pepper ramen

Sandaime Bunji has a black pepper ramen. A bowl that came with minced bits of peppery beef that tasted like it was some sort of corned beef and an oxtail broth. The white round thing on the side is not a ball of mozzarella but an egg. This was actually quite pleasant.

Sandaime Bunji, gyutan

And because it was Sandami Bunji, we didn't pass on a plate of their yummy grilled gyutan.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Ji De Chi (記得吃), Plaza Singapura

Ji De Chi (記得吃), durian sago pomelo

We must have walked by this shop (#B2-53 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road) a hundred times and have never done more than a cursory glance at their menu. Something steered us in today and wow, have we been missing out. The durian sago & pomelo thing was pretty good. The mousse-like base was thick - much more viscous than the ice blended puree that Dessert Bowl makes. Both are good in their own ways, but if you're looking for something richer, this one is it. At the bottom is their ginger milk pudding or also commonly known as 姜汁撞奶. Basically warm milk that's curdled with ginger juice. The texture of this bowl was ethereal and the prickly heat from the ginger juice rocked. Will be back.

Ji De Chi (記得吃), ginger milk pudding

Thursday, May 26, 2016

More good lunching from Old Airport Road Food Centre

We don't come by Old Airport Road FC (51 Old Airport Road) very often so every time we're here, we're spoilt for choice simply because there are so many things that look good.

I quite like the mutton soup from Hougang Jing Jia Mutton Soup (#01-123). While I don't patronize local Chinese mutton soup often, I remember liking this one as the balance of flavours from the herbs and the mutton work out for me. My stand is that the mutton is allowed to dominate the flavours, but the herbs should not. A balance is of flavours between the two is a compromise I'm willing to accept. Here's a bowl of the $10 portion of mixed parts which they claimed is for two, but I'm pretty sure I could finish it by myself.

I'm not generally a Hokkien mee person. There's usually too much sauce for my liking and while I don't actually dislike them, it's never on the top of my list. Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee (#01-32) works for me because their plate of noodles is not wet. The flavours from the stock are pretty good and there's more bee hoon than mee which creates a texture that I find pleasing.

I've been asked by a friend to give Western Barbeque (#01-53) a shot so here's their pork chop. This was actually quite nice. The meat was tender and juicy - the latter was certainly not something that one can claim of most pork chops from our local Hainanese styled western food stalls. It comes with their signature garlicky sauce (which is ladled over pretty much everything they sell) and a plastic bagged old school bun spread with margarine in between. Nice. I'm going to give their other items a go someday too.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ebi katsu season is back at Saboten

Yes, the ebi katsu from Saboten (#B2-02/03, 313 @ Somerset, 313 Orchard Road) has been back for a while now till the end of the month I think. The last time they had these didn't seem to be at this time of the year. This time round, I've found that based on the law of diminishing returns, my threshold for enjoying them should end at about two prawn cakes.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Nanbantei Japanese Restaurant, Far East Plaza

Nanbantei Japanese Restaurant, Far East Plaza

This was our first time dinnering at Nanbantei (#05-132 Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Road, tel : +65 6733 5666). The previous times which we had been here were for lunch. Those were a pretty long while back. This dinner almost didn't happen since we were wandering around Far East Plaza and we did not have reservations. Surprisingly, we managed to get a table from walk in. On a Friday night, no less. Little blessings in life not to take for granted.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Wagon, Tras Street

I couldn't find much information about these guys (55 Tras Street, tel : +65 6221 6369) apart from being owned by a Japanese food and beverage group AP Company Co who's also responsible for the collagen hotpot chain Tsukada Nojo. I ought to give that a go someday. The food here by their chef Makoto Deguchi can be described as French styled by Japanese with small plates that are presented on wagons. And hence they name of the restaurant. There's a bunch of items that can still be ordered from the menu though.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Hitting another sweet spot at SweetSpot.

SweetSpot., pastrami sandwich

Notice the evolution of the pastrami/corned beef sandwiches from SweetSpot. It used to be bigger back in the day when they were located at The Shoppes. Even the pickles were larger. Little if any escapes the downward spiral in our food industry. Anyways what I really wanted to mention was the availability of Thai milk tea on menu. It's a little expensive (or rather expensive depending on your frame of reference but...) and one can certainly get much cheaper elsewhere. So why did I even bother to mention? Because this one is pretty good. Try it, these guys made the effort trying to get it right.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A second visit to Tampopo this year

Tampopo, hotaru ika don

It happened to be the season for hotaru ika during this visit so I got a bowl just like the other time. This actually went pretty well with the la-yu (辣油) and a dash of shoyu. The thing that really got our attention today was their wafu steak jyu, an evolution into a rice bento from their regular wafu steak that had appeared on their menu in recent years. Check out all those delicious bits of carcinogenic burnt ends on the beef. We didn't even mind that it was overdone from what we had requested.

The sad news is, their foie gras tonkatsu with truffle has been taken off the menu. Why?!

Tampopo, wafu steak jyu

Monday, May 16, 2016

Savour 2016

foie-ffle (Artichoke)
Artichoke Fried Chicken
carabinero - cauliflower, raisin and almond (Buona Terra) 
home made tagliolini, Parmesan, shaven back truffle (Buona Terra)
wagyu striploin (Bar-a-Thym)
This was our first time visiting Savour. While I was tempted by the ones from the previous years, the thing that really put me off was the need to purchase tickets for admission and food. So I’m pretty pleased that they’ve done away with that nonsense this year. If any of the Savour folks are reading this, please improve on the shelters for the next one. The blistering sun and having to eat underneath that scorching heat took away a lot of fun and after a while, we gave up and sought sanctuary in the air conditioned Market.

We managed to try from a few stalls. The stuff from Artichoke was pretty nice. We liked both the syrup-ed crispy skinned fried chicken and the foie-ffle though it was really that foie gras butter and light & crisp corn waffle from the latter which I found more memorable. Both the carabinero shrimp and pasta from Buona Terra were tasty too but the portions were really measly. I did kinda like the wagyu from Bar-A-Thyme. It was some nice striploin and delicious vegetables on the side, but that meat was not wagyu good if you know what I mean.  

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Northern Thai Restaurant (泰北), Peace Centre

northern Thai tom yum
We've stumbled past this shop in the past, but hadn't realised that it was the Northern Thai (#01-46 Peace Centre 1 Sophia Road) place because it had been located inside Isle Cafe. The shop didn't look like much and the menu's pretty small. Sadly the mango salad looked like it had been just taken out not too long ago. Which left me disappointed. But I suppose people don't come here for variety. 

pad hoon sen
The main draw to Northern Thai is their northern Thai styled tom yum soup. The creamy orange one on top that you see with no chilli oils. I've got to admit that I liked it quite a bit. There wasn't so much heat as there were those appetizing tanginess which kept us spooning one after another. There was fried fish in the bowl which soaked up that delicious soup. Those green bits one the side are kaffir lime leaves and for the eagle eyed & initiated, this bowl was requested for without coriander. 

pineapple fried rice
Their pineapple fried rice and pad hoon sen were okay I guess. Sufficiently flavoured, simple and straightforward; well done enough that I wouldn't mind having them with some regularity if I had to but it wouldn't be something I'd travel the distance for. I would come back for that northern styled tom yum again though.

Friday, May 13, 2016

A mentaiko mayo mazesoba from Kajiken

Kajiken, mentaiko mayo mazesoba

Here's a bowl of the mentaiko mayo mazesoba from Kajiken. It was noticeably dryer than their Nagoya bowl but still delicious. The main difference between eating this and the former bowl was that I didn't use any extra chilli oil or vinegar because I really wanted that mentaiko flavour to come through. I thought it would have been a more enjoyable eat if they portioned more of the roe. From what we've observed so far, the toppings are pretty good portions only if one took the regular portions of noodles. Upgraded portions, free as it is would certainly benefit from additional toppings which is chargeable.

By the way, that cup of soup that the serve on the side is pretty good.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hon maguro fin shioyaki set from Nakajima Suisan

Nakajima Suisan, hon maguro fin shioyaki teishoku

Here's grilled hon maguro fin with salt. Nice char and unctuous tender meat beneath that. As enjoyable as their nodo.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Fakruddin, Desker Road

Fakruddin, Desker Road

I understood that Fakruddin (19 Desker Road) is a Bangladeshi restaurant and they are known for their briyani.

Fakruddin, mutton briyani

That plate above was their lamb/mutton briyani. What was different about it was that these guys didn't use basmati rice that we're used to seeing for briyani. The rice here was a short grained variety and there was even potatoes along with the mutton. The flavours of the rice was a little buttery (from ghee) coupled with the aroma of the spices they had used to cook it. I thought this was delicious. I meant "I'm definitely coming back again" kind of delicious.

Fakruddin, bhuna  khichuri

The other rice that they had was bhuna khichuri. From what I managed to discover, it was rice with dal (lentils). Pretty tasty, but this was not buttery like their briyani and the mutton in the rice was measly. Actually, it was mostly bits of bones. But still tasty the same and comforting.

Fakruddin, gourd eggs

We had vegetables. Spiced and stir fried sliced gourds of some sort with egg. Tasty stuff.

Fakruddin, yam

And a spicy mash that packed a little bit of heat which the proprietor mentioned was made with yam. Due to the intensity of the spices, we couldn't actually tell that it was made of yam. But it was delicious. 

Fakruddin, kheer

We spied kheer in the refrigerator out back and got a serving. This if you didn't already know is a dessert of sweet and milky spiced rice pudding. It's mostly cardamom flavoured, but there is occasionally saffron and nuts as well. In the rice were also a bunch of really plump raisins. We were already pretty stuffed at this point and if you have noticed, this meal was carbs heavy. But still we managed to finish it. Mmmmm....

Sunday, May 08, 2016

BeerThai House Restaurant, Golden Mile Complex

BeerThai House Restaurant, Golden Mile Complex

It's been quite a while since the last time I stepped into this building. For some reasons, we had never headed this direction for Thai food even though it was one of the things that Golden Mile was known for. So today, it's BeerThai House Restaurant (#01-96, Golden Mile Complex, 6001 Beach Rd, tel : +65 6297 7644).

BeerThai House Restaurant, boat noodles

We tried their boat noodles. While we weren't expecting it to be anywhere close to the standards of the last one we had, this bowl here turned out not too bad. The vermicelli had soaked up all the flavour from the broth.

BeerThai House Restaurant, tom yum goong nam khon

We had tom yum goong nam khon. The version of the tom yum goong with milk. And that's evaporated milk, not coconut milk in case you were wondering. In this dangerous looking bowl, were bits of sliced fish, squid, shrimp and fish balls. The tom yam broth packed quite a bit of sour and heat.

That unwittingly triggered a certain, usually dormant inner masochism which prompted me to spoon mouthful after mouthful of it into my mouth even though my lips were already burning. 

BeerThai House Restaurant, krapow century eggs

I don't know what's the name of this dish but it's essentially a krapow moo with century eggs. Quite salty, rich from the eggs and bits of pork fat and good with white rice. 

BeerThai House Restaurant, som tam

And there was som tam with salted egg. A salad of papaya strips refreshingly spicy with squeezed lime, crunchy textures and full of bold flavours.

BeerThai House Restaurant, steamed squid lime

This was a steamed squid dish with chillis and lime. It was a lot more zesty than I had anticipated.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Changing lanes at Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐)

Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐), mushroom dumplings

Here're some stuff that I haven't actually eaten before. A relatively new mixed mushroom dumpling (shimeiji, shitake, oyster and enoki) with a light infusion of truffle oil. I kinda enjoyed it. It was more mushroomy than truffle-y which was really what I was looking for. All wrapped in their signature 18 folded dumpling package. The other thing's the beef broth noodle. No beef with this at all and pun fully intended. As much as I enjoy cow, Chinese styled preparations have generally not been my thing so the broth was actually good enough for me. A little bit of heat, a little bit of spice, some bovine aroma and comforting slurpy noodles.

Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐), beef broth noodle

Friday, May 06, 2016

Revisiting Jia Yan Restaurant

In the midst of chuckles drawn from the hilarity of the menu's English translation, here's some stuff we had at Jia Yan.

Jia Yan Restaurant, stir fried cabbage

That's stir fried cabbage with dried chilli and a sauce that contains fermented beans. The flavour was not bad, growing onto us as we ate and the cabbage didn't taste as undercooked as it initially looked. 

Jia Yan Restaurant, suan cai yu

This was suan cai yu where the pickled mustard greens were buried at the bottom of the bowl. The fish was I'm guessing, dory. The cheap and plentiful fish with soft crumbly texture that is commonly found locally. This didn't taste bad even though I generally don't like dory. But the texture was exactly the way it was, almost disintegrating as it was picked up with the chopstick. Those pickled mustard tasted like preserved Szechuan vegetables minus the heat.

Jia Yan Restaurant, 水餃 shui jiao

Here be boiled dumplings (水餃) with egg, chives and little shrimps (三鲜). These dumplings were pretty juicy and the dominant flavour was the "green-iness" from the chives. Or should I even describe that as verdant? o_O Not bad.

Jia Yan Restaurant, lamb skewers ribs

And yeah, we didn't want to skip the lamb/mutton so we ordered some skewers and ribs infused with cumin. And other spices. I need to make comparisons regarding the skewers at this point. Those skewers in Restaurant Manchurian (满族全羊铺) might have cost 50% more but were also better done in my opinion - not to mention that lamb was really their forte whereas Jia Yan does a smattering of what can be loosely described as Dong Bei (东北) and Korean food.