Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A lunch at Bedrock

It wasn't two weeks back when we were just at Bedrock. Good feelings brought us back. For lunch.

Bedrock, lobster bisque

There's lobster bisque at lunch. Highly recommend to mix that chive cream into the bisque as it mellows those robust crustacean flavours down a notch for a noticeably smoother finish. I couldn't ask for more but a splash of brandy for this.

Bedrock, double cheese burger
Bedrock, double cheese burger

There's a fascinatingly textured double cheese burger that they do at lunch too. The texture came from the buttered buns studded with seeds, some crusty beef patties and gooey cheese. 

To disclaim a comparison I'm about to make, this isn't one for the burger purist because there's definitely distractions like that tasty barbeque sauce which they did not overdo. I'm liking that deliciously salty and milky Monterey Jack which worked. Both beef patties were thin but they were also nicely charred and flavoured. Believe it or not, I liked this much better than Burger Joint.

Bedrock, barramundi

And for something that's a little more lightweight, barramundi. Menu says it's baked. Fish was delicious. The accompanying smoky tomato jam was good too.

Bedrock, stout & toffee pudding

Too bad dessert was a let down. This stout and toffee pudding was a little chewy and felt like it was microwaved. It's got nothing on those from PS Cafe which are probably also microwaved.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Mee kia from Khin Kee Fishball

Khin Kee Fishball, mee kia

So I decided to try the mee kia this time round. Gotten a larger bowl which wasn't by far much larger but they did give more fishballs. The noodles were not great. I had even asked for more chilli and vinegar and apparently, there's only so much flavour that can be gotten from the condiment mix from this stall. It was certainly not as spicy nor as vinegar-y as I would have liked. So I suppose that the star item from Khin Khee would be their fried fish cakes. Don't miss those.

Khin Kee Fishball, fish cake

Friday, February 23, 2018

Kra Pow Thai Restaurant, Far East Plaza

There's been a bit of buzz regarding this Thai restaurant (#03-26/27 Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Road, tel : +65 6734 1946) lately so we decided we'd come over to check it out. And we were kinda glad we did. 

Kra Pow Thai Restaurant, mango salad

There's a decent yam mamuang there. I prefer the one from Thai Gold Food for the finer shreds of mango but this wasn't too bad. The usual kaleidoscopic pungent salty fish sauce, heat from the chillis, sour from the mango and a bit of sharpness from the onions. And if you're like me, additional crushed peanuts for that nuttiness and texture along with some sweetness from the sugar. Portions were a little smaller than what I had been expecting though.

Kra Pow Thai Restaurant, pad kee mao

Their pad kee mao seems to be the popular item here. We could certainly understand why with their rendition that had a light savoury sauce spiked with some heat from the peppers that's coated over the rice noodles. Addictive.

Kra Pow Thai Restaurant, kailan

Stir fried kailan (or what the menu calls Thai kale) with garlic and oyster sauce was also nicely done. The vegetable was well cooked while retaining a good crunch.

Kra Pow Thai Restaurant, spring rolls

The only thing we didn't take to was their vegetable spring rolls. We had expected more fillings of vegetables in proportion to all the crunch on the fried skin. It got a little tiring after a couple of pieces.

Kra Pow Thai Restaurant, khao moo yang

We had some khao moo yang. Decent, but my mind immediately reach back to the ones we had just outside Central World a couple of years or so back which was better. Unfortunately, I don't think that stall's still around anymore after the recent clearing of the street food vendors from the city centre in Bangkok.

Kra Pow Thai Restaurant, steamed sea bass

And for good measure, we ordered their steamed sea bass with lime and chilli. Sans cilantro. The quality of the fish was pretty darn good here. While it wasn't as spicy and lime-y as some of those we've had before in Bangkok, this was still a very decent and enjoyable steamed fish. The tender yet firm and flaky texture was outstanding.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Pasta Brava 2018

Pasta Brava, Craig Road

The last time we were here was a couple of years back. I remember commenting about how the restaurant doesn't change. Apparently, things have changed since. Some things have been taken off and some new stuff seemed to have been added. I'm not sure if it was all for the better.

Pasta Brava, scallop gratin

Finally got to try their scallop gratin which was done with a tomato bechamel sauce. Not bad.

Pasta Brava, spaghetti vongole

These guys do a competent spaghetti vongole. Nice plump clams and a healthy dose of garlic along with flavours that are absorbed into the noodles. One can also customize the level of spiciness. But the portions were kinda small. Even though it's under the primi piatti section of the menu, I don't think any restaurant these days actually serves in those portions unless they're specifically spelled (and priced) on the menu.  

Pasta Brava, tenderloin chocolate red wine

What I was looking forward to was their tenderloin with chocolate and red wine sauce. I thought this was still good. A nicely paired balance of richness from both the chocolate and the wine. While prices didn't go up very much over the years, the portions felt noticeably smaller. Noticeably.

Pasta Brava, stracci

After lamenting over the puny portions, we decided to follow up with their stracci. Came with scallops and prawns. Prawns tasted like it was frozen. Something that felt out of place with the rest of the dish. The green pepper and saffron cream sauce was nice though. Creamy and light with seafood-y flavours. Again the portions felt undersized.

Pasta Brava, limoncello cake key lime mousse

Had previously never realized that they had a limoncello cake with key lime mousse before so we thought we'd try it. Tasted just like most lemon torte with a disappointing key lime mousse that added very little to the cake.

Like I mentioned earlier, I'm not sure if the change at Pasta Brava was for the better. If these portions are a permanent feature, I don't think I'll be eager to come back. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Burger Joint, Amoy Street

Burger Joint, Amoy Street

So we finally managed to visit Burger Joint (#01-03, 115 Amoy St, tel : +65 6221 8648). With a reputation as a somewhat game changing poorly kept secret from NYC, we had expectations. We expected to be impressed to some degree.

I'll skip further introductions since some has been written or talked about them. I've heard that they've kept the ingredients pretty much the same as the original so I'm guess it's still that Nebraskan Black Angus that they've brought in for the meat here done at an 80/20 coarse grind.

Burger Joint, double cheese burger

Here's my double cheese burger. Just onions and pickles and no sauce. I needed something to cut through the meat and mayo/ketchup doesn't quite work for me. All the pickles I got ended up at the other side of the burger. For people that are serious about their burgers, I find the lack of attention to this detail disturbing.

Burger Joint, double cheese burger

I had it medium. In retrospect, medium rare might have been a better choice. This ended up looking more like medium well. The beef was nice but just that. I'm not buying their reason for not salting the beef and justifying that by saying it would cover up the quality of the meat. In fact, I thought having salt would enhance those qualities. But what do I know?

The main salt in the flavour came from the cheese. Again if the ingredients have not been messed with, it's white cheddar and Colby. Melts nice, tastes pretty good but not heavy hitting with the salt. Unlike American cheese which is pretty much what makes things tick for me at McD and Omakase Burger. Forgive the comparison to the former. I just needed to bring it up. 

Burger Joint, fries

In contrast with the burger which was light on the salt, the chilli fries hit hard. Lego Batman hard with heat and salt and more than a little grease. I was still burping those flavours a few hours after this. Some of those fries were a little hard. It wasn't bad though.

Burger Joint, baileys shake

There's boozy shakes on the menu. This one had Baileys. And not enough of it. For the cost of two of these and less than 10 bucks, I could have gotten a whole bottle of Baileys at DFS. Not impressive.

Burger Joint, Amoy Street

I guess I needed to give this a verdict maybe because I like burgers as a whole and I had though this might have been a good joint. It's kinda expensive. As much as I have accepted that things generally just become more expensive once it emerges in our sunny island, I didn't think what we had represented good value. And while it didn't cost as much as my current favourite burger, Burger Joint also certainly wasn't anywhere close to edging it off that number one perch anytime soon.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Pepper King from Ramen Nagi

Ramen Nagi, pepper king

This was the Pepper King from Ramen Nagi, the current seasonal "Limited King" that's supposedly limited to 400 bowls before it's taken off the menu. I'm not sure what's so special about this since it could have been assembled by any of their ingredients that they have already been using. It didn't taste very peppery initially so I had to grind in a little more black pepper of my own. And some crushed sesame too. At the end of the bowl, I was sweating quite a bit from the heat. I thought it might have tasted like bak kut teh but this broth was clearly richer and sweeter. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

初二 at hans im glück

It's day 2 (初二) of the Chinese New Year. Still a great deal of eateries wrapped in the warm embrace of a good rest or the torture of visiting one place to another. I saw that hans im glück was open from the first day so I thought it might be a good place to get lunch.

Apparently these guys bothered with a CNY special. Grilled chicken breast with apricot jam and grilled mandarin called glücklichmacher according to the menu. Internet translations got me 'happy maker' or 'happy pills'. Sounded like something that would send me on a trip. The apricot jam didn't taste very apricot-y beyond being tangy. Overwhelmingly so if I might add. It was also pretty obvious that the mandarins were not grilled. Liars!

That's the birkenwald with sour cream and mushrooms on a beef patty. Like the previous beef burger, it was pretty edible if unexceptional. I'm still trying to understand the relationship this place (or just maybe.....Germans?) has with their beef patties.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Merci Marcel, Eng Hoon Street

Merci Marcel, Eng Hoon Street

French casual restaurant at Tiong Bahru (56 Eng Hoon Street, tel : +65 6224 0113) run by the people from Ô Batignolles Wine Bar at Club Street. Serving food from locally distributed ingredients where possible (Tiong Bahru Market) and even coffee from a local roast.

Merci Marcel, goat cheese tartar

That above was their goat cheese tartar with mint. I don't know what's a cheese tartar. This tasted like goat's cheese mixed with a lot of sour cream. With little goat's cheese and barely any mint. Those flatbread were't that flat and had texture like tapioca kueh. Won't be getting these again. 

Merci Marcel, ravioles de royan

Their ravioles de Royan was nice. Creamily rich without being overwhelmingly so (ymmv) and cheesy with that delicious Tête de Moine.

Merci Marcel, angus steak

Not much good things to say about their Angus beef item. Think it was flank steak which is a pretty lean cut of meat. Wasn't very flavourful. A little chewier than I normally prefer. Creamy mushrooms on top were nice though. Wondered why this didn't come with frites. For some reasons this was making me miss the onglet at Le Bistrot du Sommelier very much.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Bedrock Bar & Grill on Vday

It's been quite a long time since we were last here. Really long. We were here trying to squeeze in a quick dinner which we made no reservations for before rushing off to catch a movie in the vein of an odd love story by a cool Mexican director. Timing was a little tight. The restaurant knew, did their best to accomodate but still took longer than what was comfortable for us. 

To their credit, they came to check on us, assured us a few times that the food was in preparation and on the way. To top that off, their service recovery was excellent.

I remember mentioning their Applewood smoked tomato soup as being one of the best I've had around. This still has not changed.

Got ourselves an order of their full lamb rack to get a measure of how they make them. It's tender, a little chewy and just passed muster. They were not the better ones we've had but not bad that I would have wanted to complain about them. Those ribs would have benefitted from a little more char, a little more salt and also a little more fat so that it would have been that much more satisfying. Didn't dislike this but wouldn't get them again.

On the side, some sweet potatoes with bacon and blue cheese. I recognize that I'm an almost perpetual critic about blue cheese in food because the quantity is often too little. A critic I personally feel with valid critique in this particular context. For this dish, we got a nice cheese that was robust but not sufficiently pungent that I'd class them into the blue cheese category. 

Before your thoughts get ahead of what I'm about to say, this was fortunately good enough. Paired with a nice salty cheese crust, those sweet potatoes were addictively delicious. We finished all of it leaving us very stuffed that we collapsed on the theatre seats into the shape of water while enjoying The Shape of Water. Go Guillermo del Toro!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Kazbar, Church Street

Kazbar, Church Street

Kazbar has been around for more than a decade if my memory serves. For a very long while, I had the impression that they (#01-03 Capital Square 3, 25 Church Street, tel : +65 6438 2975) were one of those Middle Eastern facades that's the excuse for a watering hole down in Far East Square. Then again, it's not like I'm never known to make mistakes.

Kazbar, shorbet adas (lentil soup)

Their food was pretty good. Pretty pleased by their shorbet adas (lentil soup) that was packed with those great cumin flavours. While we were pleasantly surprised how much a squeeze of lemon changed the taste profile of the soup, it was delicious both with and without the lemon.

Kazbar, lamb koobideh

Hadn't had one of these quite a while. Sure brought back memories of the much missed Banoo. While this was obviously missing the butter element, it wasn't too bad at all. The lamb koobideh was nicely spiced without being excessively so.

Kazbar, lamb shank on ouzi

There was also a pretty memorable lamb shank on ouzi (spiced rice) and a generous sprinkle of cashews along with yoghurt. That ouzi (also cooked with lamb) was addictively delicious. Savoury with a good amount of salt paired with some sweet crunchiness from those cashews. Shank was tender but not so moist. 

Kazbar, Church Street

Sunday, February 11, 2018

A bak kwa kouign amann from Tiong Bahru Bakery

Tiong Bahru Bakery, bak kwa kouign amann

So these guys have a local flavoured rendition of their kouign amann and it was actually kinda nice. Sweet, buttery and importantly, getting sufficient bak kwa flavour from the little bits of the dried barbequed meat within the layers of pastry. 

Tiong Bahru Bakery, coffee

Note to self, never get coffee here again. I always forget for some reasons how much I dislike their coffee. It's the acidic sour stuff. A waste of money in my books.

Never get coffee here again......
Never get coffee here again......
Never get coffee here again......
Never get coffee here again......
Never get coffee here again......
Never get coffee here again......

Friday, February 09, 2018

Teishokus from Ootoya lately

Ootoya, teishoku

We hadn't been eating at Ootoya for quite a long while. Spoilt by Suju and I suppose in no small part - their declining standards of food compared to their heydays when there were pretty solid. Oshinko looked sad. Portions have definitely become smaller while prices have inched up slowly. But what's new right? We did drop by a couple of times because the menu has changed and we wanted to know if what's current was any good.

Ootoya, chidai yaki

There were grilled whole fishes for their seasonal specials. I thought the chidai yaki (grilled crimson sea bream) was quite nicely done. Tender, reasonably moist and something I could see myself looking forward to.  

Ootoya, gyutan

There's gyutan on the menu now. It's not bad but it's also not Sandaime Bunji.

Ootoya, chicken

On a limited run, charcoal grilled boneless chicken thigh with what they described as green onion sauce. It's more of a green onion salsa if you asked me. Delicious with the torimomo yaki. I just wished that there were more chicken.