Friday, June 30, 2017

Hua Kee Chicken Rice revisited

Hua Kee Chicken Rice (華記雞飯), Redhill Food Centre

I realized that I've been getting food in this hood quite a bit of late. But I couldn't forgo the chance for a second take at Hua Kee. This time a plate of their delicious chicken rice with drumstick meat. It was every bit as tender and tasty as I remember. This stall is fast becoming my next favourite after Sin Kee. If only the queue wasn't so excruciatingly slow. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Blackened catfish from One Night Only

One Night Only, blackened catfish

Here's a not so blackened looking blackened catfish from One Night Only. I can't say that I recall having these before so I haven't really got anything to compare them to. But, I did think that it was quite enjoyable. The catfish was so tender that I'm surprised it came out in one piece. I liked that it was sufficiently salted.

By the way those biscuits and gravy were way better than the shockingly mediocre ones from Clinton Street Baking Co. Creamed corn here was amazing for me. It turned out to be milky sweet instead of savoury and for something that was sweet, it was unexpectedly addictive. Yeah we did get creamed corn. You can see the couple of kernels that I accidentally dropped on the table on the top left.

One Night Only, River Valley Road

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Joo Chiat Beef King, Tiong Bahru Market

Joo Chiat Beef King, beef tendon kuey teow

I got enticed by the beef tendon kuey teow from the Joo Chiat Beef King stall (#02-35 Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre, 30 Seng Poh Road). It was only much later that I recalled that I had ordered exactly the same thing from that branch at Chinatown Food Centre previously. Well, one thing for sure, their soup was consistently quite lightweight. I would have liked a beefier flavour but I've nothing against this one. I thought those rice noodles were quite satisfying. The only difference between this bowl and the previous time was perhaps, the tendons this time round wasn't as tender. I didn't get any radishes in my bowl today as well.

Note to self, avoid the coffee from the coffee stall with a long queue nearby (#02-33) and also the one from the stall call L21(#02-21). Bad coffee.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Serangoon Gardens Fried Prawn Noodle, Redhill Food Centre

Serangoon Gardens Fried Prawn Noodle, Redhill Food Centre

Did these guys (#01-51 Redhill Food Centre, 85 Redhill Lane) used to come from Serangoon Gardens? Anyways this was quite a delicious plate of stir fried Hokkien hae mee. I'm getting a hit of the prawn flavours from the gravy that's nicely coated over the noodles. Chilli has got a good amount of heat going on and the whole plate plays nice together with the squeeze of lime and the fried lard. Will definitely re-visit. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Magic Shrooms Burger from Wolf Burgers

Wolf Burgers, Magic Shrooms Burger

This was not bad from Wolf Burgers. The Mushroom Swiss that's better than the Mushroom Swiss if you catch my drift; that comes with also sautéed onions and some truffle oil.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Traditional Hainanese Curry Rice (中国街海南咖哩饭), Redhill Food Centre

Traditional Hainanese Curry Rice (中国街海南咖哩饭), Redhill Food Centre

Let's do a little comparison on the food between this stall (#01-03 Redhill Food Centre, 85 Redhill Lane) and Hong Seng. The gravy and curry over here had much less punch and their stewed cabbages were much lighter tasting than the garlicky rendition from the latter. I thought the pork chops over at Hong Seng were tastier while the squid from this stall had a more springy texture. If you're confused as to which might be better, you're on the same track as I was. While I possibly feel that Hong Seng had stronger flavours going on and maybe are a notch up on the whole, I didn't dislike this at all and would have no qualms giving this another go.

Which might not be a bad idea since there was enough dishes that I was spoilt for choice.

Traditional Hainanese Curry Rice (中国街海南咖哩饭), Redhill Food Centre

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Menya Sakura, Boat Quay

Menya Sakura, foie gras ramen

Menya Sakura (69 Boat Quay) had not even been on my radar until I came across the 1 for 1 vouchers for their foie gras ramen from JPassport. What was their foie gras ramen you might ask? It's apparently something that's on a limited run featuring sous vide foie gras wrapped in chicken charshu. Soft chunk of liver that was creamy and chicken that was super tender. There's pine nuts, some mushrooms, menma and watercress in this bowl.

I read that the broth was a mixture of chicken and shoyu. What I could definitively tell was it didn't taste like the sum of its parts. I might have imagined that there was something slightly herbal in the flavours and couldn't quite related it to any of the regular bases that most of the ramen use for their broth. Not getting any of the yuzu that's supposed to be in there as well.

I liked the chicken with foie gras and the ajitama but I don't think the rest of the bowl made much of an impression.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Re-revisiting Keria Japanese Restaurant

Keria Japanese Restaurant, otoshi

We're back in Keria. Today we had an interesting otoshi. It's a shumai and the stuffing was some sort of tofu with seafood flavour. A seafood flavour that was reminiscent of those frozen Ajinomoto shrimp dumplings that I used to eat as a kid.

Keria Japanese Restaurant, kanpachi sashimi

We had some kanpachi sashimi.

Keria Japanese Restaurant, mentaiko cabbage

And of course, their stir fried mentaiko cabbage too.

Keria Japanese Restaurant, gyutan

Keria has some delicious stir fried gyutan with negi. Those savoury sliced tongue were chewy and beefy, contrasted by a mild sharpness of the raw negi and the sweetness from the stir fried ones.

Keria Japanese Restaurant, mini steak don

Their mini steak don came with some kind of wafu dressing. Sweet, tangy and a hint of ginger.

Keria Japanese Restaurant, mini steak don

A bit more chewing had the fat in the beef melted and the flavour came through.

Keria Japanese Restaurant, spaghetti aonori karasumi

There was a spaghetti with aonori (green laver), some dried chilli and karasumi. The latter is dried mullet roe, the Japanese equivalent of bottarga. Interesting combination of the delicate laver, umami saltiness from the karasumi, garlic and a very mild heat from the dried chilli.

Keria Japanese Restaurant, hamu katsu

Unfortunately, their hamu katsu was a bore. It's a ham katsu that was so thin that there was possibly more breading than the ham which tasted like the cheap pink variety.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Siak Ann Cooked Food, Havelock Road Food Centre

Siak Ann Cooked Food, Havelock Road Food Centre

This was a curry rice stall (#01-07 Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre, 22A/B Havelock Road) not a few units away from Covent Garden Kway Chap. I have reason to believe that the name of the was retained from previous tenant which did cze char. Anyways, the current stall seemed to have been around for some years operating with a little yellow signage which says '大牌38咖哩飯' (Block 38 curry rice).

Stall's run by an elderly couple and the food's old school. Well, to be a little more precise here, it would be old school to locals who are at least about as old as I am. 

These folks do the kind of pork chop which are pretty much red lard crisps - a similar style to that nameless Beo Crescent Hainanese curry rice stall. Crispy and kinda dissolves into a savoury lard-y flavour once you've crushed them between your teeth. There's stewed cabbage which were tender and light on flavour, curried squids which were actually pretty good and hard boiled egg. Just a handful among the offerings that the stall had. Made a very satisfying weekend breakfast. Will be back.

Update 13/8/2017

Siak Ann Cooked Food, Havelock Road Food Centre

Very satisfying breakfast of delicious curry over rice. Meatballs were tasty in a homely manner. Luncheon meat nicely pan fried and not forgetting those crispy, lardy pork chops.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Alt. Pizza, Suntec City

Alt. Pizza (#01-602 Suntec City Tower 4, 9 Temasek Boulevard, tel : +65 +65 68369207) came up perhaps three years ago or thereabout. The executive chef is a Matthew White, previously from Extra Virgin Pizza and was American based until earlier part of this decade.

Pizza here is a little smaller than the usual. Just 11 inches with a thin and crispy crust. One can pick from what they've come up with on the menu or simply make your own. This was a Truffle Shuffle with extra sausages and pineapple. Speaking of pineapples, Alt. Pizza uses fresh pineapples. The other place which does, Butcher's Kitchen, is coincidentally located in the vicinity.

Coming back to the pizza; there's mushrooms, fennel sausages, onions, a generous drizzle of truffle oil and of course, pineapples. It's actually quite delicious if I might say so. It's also probably the only pizza on the menu that looked like it might be good, so if I ever come back, I might have to try making my own.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Red Eye Smokehouse, Cavan Road

of green monsters and red eyes

American styled barbecue joint located a short distance from the main Lavender Street (1 Cavan Road, tel : +65 6291 0218) that also dispenses brews from RedDot BrewHouse on their taps. This would be the second and possibly only other American styled barbecue specialist here other than Decker Barbecue down at Robertson Quay. 

We picked up some Brandt briskets and lamb chops along with their maple corn bread and mashed potatoes with bone marrow butter. The food was pretty good. I liked those briskets which were smoky at the edges, tender and flavourful from the fat. Lamb chops were full of bite and pretty lamb-y. The latter was my kind of thing for lamb so no complains from me on that.

Buns and pickles are served on request with no additional charge. I'm pretty sure I'd like to drop by again sometime.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Covent Garden Kway Chap, Havelock Road Food Centre

Covent Garden Kway Chap, Havelock Road

Came across this stall (#01-05 Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre, 22A/B Havelock Road) while looking for breakfast over the weekend and decided to join the queue.

This was delicious kuey chap. Old school and delicious. Their cauldron of ingredients had been simmering to the point where the flavour of the braising liquid was in every morsel of offal and meat. Braising liquid tasted like how I remembered these kuey chap broth as a kid. Flavourful yet clean and balanced without any particular spice being predominant.

Covent Garden Kway Chap, Havelock Road

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Riverside Grilled Fish (江边城外), Raffles City

Riverside Grilled Fish (江边城外), Raffles City

Riverside Grilled Fish (#B1-06/07 Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road, tel : +65 6352 2035) opened about a year back. From what I could gather, they're a chain from China. This was suppose to be their first outlet outside China. Yes, it's another one of those again. 

Food's not bad. We had a garoupa with black bean sauce and we topped it up with bean curd sheets and luncheon meat. If you're wondering what happen to the latter items, they were mostly under the fish. The black bean sauce was just a little bit spicy, buffed with the aroma of Szechuan peppercorns and fermented black beans. Salty and moreish and would have been excellent with white rice. 

There was fried rice from their menu was unexpectedly addictive and nicely done. Only gripe - the garoupa was much smaller than I had imagined and maybe it's just not the tender flaky fish that I was hoping for. Will try another fish with another sauce the next time.

Riverside Grilled Fish (江边城外), fried rice

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

One Night Only, River Valley Road

One Night Only, River Valley Road

This (397 River Valley Rd, tel : +65 6235 1248) would be probably the closest we have ever gotten to an American styled diner. 'Styled' being the operative word here. Serving what could be considered a curated selection of "diner classics" with a touch of the Southern cooking from the US of A. Brought to us by the people behind Muchachos and The Daily Cut? Sure, why not?

One Night Only, chicken fried steak

We had their chicken fried steak. Liked it because it was exactly what it claimed to be. The meat had a nice spiced breading, tasted like a tender beef schnitzel and was doused with a quite nice cream sauce. Flavours were much better than I had imagined. That corn bread on the side was moist and crumbly.

One Night Only, shrimp etouffee

There was also a shrimp étouffée - something definitively Cajun/Creole that is rather uncommon in this part of the world. Which was by the way, also much better tasting that the looks suggested. That spicy sauce had a good crustacean flavour. While I'm may not be any expert on them, I know enough about food in general to declare that this dish of shellfish gravy over rice was pretty tasty. Loved those shrimps. Mac and cheese was likeable and I dug those beans for some reasons.

One Night Only, River Valley Road

In the words of a certain ex-governor spoken once upon a time in shades and black leather jacket, I'll be back.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Chen's Mapo Tofu, Downtown Gallery

The namesake Chen could probably be referring to Chen Kentaro (grandson), grandson of the founder of the Szechuan restaurant Shisen Hanten, Chen Kenmin (grandfather). In between the both of them is son to the latter and father to the the former - Chen Kenichi (father), formerly one of the Iron Chefs. Shisen Hanten by the way has an outlet on our shores which also happens to have gotten themselves two Michelin stars last year. Chen's Mapo Tofu (#02-29 Downtown Gallery, 6A Shenton Way, tel : +65 6221 3206) would be the casual outfit to that.

I've never had mapo tofu Szechuan styled so this would be a first for me. With little frame of reference, I can only describe it with what I perceive to be a moderate amount of heat and a fragrance from the chill oil/paste/Szechuan peppercorn. Something I simply associate with mala spices. It was a rather enjoyable bowl there. I'd skip their Szechuan popcorn chicken because KFC popcorn chicken and a bottle of La-Yu could actually be better. 

Monday, June 05, 2017

A return to the Les Bouchons at Ann Siang

Les Bouchons, prawns

It's been years since we've last stepped into this outfit of Les Bouchons (7 Ann Siang Road, tel : +65 6423 0737). For the previous times we had eaten, it had usually been the Rive Gauche branch at Robertson Quay. Tonight's food was good. Creamed spinach was tender and not fibrous like the last visit. Fries were not overly shrivelled. Prawns were delicious and the nicely charred tenderloin couldn't be better with their blue cheese sauce.

I should order something other than just steaks and prawns the next time but it's so hard to break out of these reliable options. Fear of change stems from not wanting to lose what currently is good about things isn't it?

Les Bouchons, tenderloin

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Hua Kee Chicken Rice (華記雞飯), Redhill Food Centre

Hua Kee Chicken Rice (華記雞飯), Redhill Food Centre

Woah, I liked this stall (#01-72 Redhill Food Centre, 85 Redhill Lane). I was initially apprehensive in spite of the queue which honestly, was formed through a rather leisurely pace of preparation rather than a overwhelming crowd. I had barely moved a couple of metres in the queue for the first 20 minutes. But all was forgiven when we started eating. 

Hua Kee Chicken Rice (華記雞飯), Redhill Food Centre

Hua Kee's rice was flavourful, suitably greasy without being excessively so and it didn't taste heavy. Sounds familiar? Yeah, it reminded me of Sin Kee too. So good that I was torn between chilli or no chilli. Speaking of that chilli sauce, it had a nice heat with ginger and garlic. Totally respectable if not outstanding. 

Hua Kee Chicken Rice (華記雞飯), Redhill Food Centre

What about the chicken, you might ask? I believe they were chilled before getting acquainted with the cleaver. Bird was chunky and tender, skilfully chopped up without accidental fragments of unwanted bone. Not quite Sin Kee's slurp off the bone tender in that regard, but still tender - even for their breast meat. All propped up by a pile of thinly sliced cucumbers. The ladled over sauce seemed to taste different from the usual variety. Soy sauce, sesame oil and maybe something else. Different but still enjoyable and wasn't overly salty. I'm definitely coming back again.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

The mentaiko spaghetti from Ma Maison

Ma Maison, mentaiko spaghetti

Ma Maison's mentaiko spaghetti is tasty for some reasons - in spite of the fact that it doesn't have as much mentaiko as one would usually expect for a mentaiko pasta. There's enough of them for the flavours to come through and I'm thinking the stir fry adds on something akin to a light char aroma. The noodles have a clean flavour although it's usually a little greasy. And there's the other stuff they put in like mushroom, onions, clams and shrimp.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Imakatsu, Guoco Tower

Imakatsu, garlic rosu katsu teishoku

Imakatsu has opened up another branch at Guoco Tower (#01-06 Tanjong Pagar Centre, 7 Wallich Street, tel : +65 6822 7912) not too long back. The menu hasn't changed very much. I'm actually pretty happy that they retained some of the things that I liked their old menu.

Imakatsu, garlic rosu katsu

One of which was the rosu katsu with garlic. It's a little smaller in size than the other tonkatsu options which they have. A thin slice of garlic is wedged between the meat and the flavour of that goes into the pork. This set comes with shoyu and wasabi which the other sets do not. Sauceless, mustard or shoyu is the way to go.

Imakatsu, mentaiko rosu katsu

Their mentaiko rosu katsu is another one of their tonkatsu offerings that I liked. It didn't used to be on the regular menu. Now it is. Yay to that! The portions of the mentaiko are still as generous as ever. There's enough of the roe to go around the katsu and rice.

Imakatsu, cheese katsu

I don't remember noticing their cheese katsu before so we ordered one to try. It's actually quite tasty. Slightly stinky in a cheesy way and I think there is a layer between the breading and the cheese that tasted like mochi.