Tuesday, December 31, 2019


You better believe it! White truffle beer. Picked this up from citysuper in Hong Kong early this year. There was a pretty distinct truffle flavour. Brew's a little sour-ish. I did get this for the novelty of it.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Another year end dinner at Keria Japanese Restaurant

Keria Japanese Restaurant, Cuppage Plaza

So we found ourselves back at Keria at the year's end again.

Keria Japanese Restaurant, otoshi

Otoshi's shredded chicken and pumpkin.

Keria Japanese Restaurant, hokkaido oysters

Some very good tasting Hokkaido oysters were in season. So good.

Keria Japanese Restaurant, bacon

We had some smoky bacon.

Keria Japanese Restaurant, mentaiko cabbage

I've already said enough of their smoky mentaiko cabbage so I'll be leaving it at that.

Keria Japanese Restaurant, niku ramen

This was the first time we were having ramen here. A niku ramen with sliced beef in a shoyu broth. Pretty salty and it's easy to tell these guys aren't the experts from how refined the broth tasted.

Keria Japanese Restaurant, gyutan

We've also had their gyutan previously.

Keria Japanese Restaurant, beef curry katsu rice

Yup, beef curry with katsu again.

Keria Japanese Restaurant, Cuppage Plaza

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Sardine murtabak and other stuff at Zam Zam

Zam Zam, sardine murtabak

The thing to order at Zam Zam is their mutton murtabak. At least for me it is. We've tried the beef and the deer rendition and both as I recall were unexceptional. Not sure about the chicken one. We're trying the sardine murtabak for the first time today.

Zam Zam, milo dinosaur

But first a Milo dinosaur - which turned out to be a little disappointing. The iced Milo wasn't thick enough and there's not so much of the Milo powder that makes it worthy of the "dinosaur" moniker.

Zam Zam, sardine murtabak

Sardine murtabak was not bad. Quite a bit of sardines but that also meant that the prata was less crisp since the fillings would be wet. Would have liked it better if the onions were diced up like the mutton rendition. While I liked their fish curry that came with this, that curry was enough of a flavour bomb that it masked most of the tomato-y and sardine-y flavour from the murtabak.

Zam Zam, nasi goreng

Zam Zam's nasi goreng mutton uses diced mutton cubes. Meat was nicely scorched but dried up. Flavour of the fried rice wasn't particularly outstanding as well so I can put them on the ignore list in the future. Still looking for a good rendition of this dish that uses chunky ground mutton rather than diced ones.

Zam Zam, mutton kurma

Today's mutton kurma tasted different from the last time we had it. While that was improbable on the basis that institutions like them don't change recipes on any whim, I did feel that the gravy tasted more flour-y than the previous time we've had it.

Zam Zam, North Bridge Road

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Gubak Kia, Timbre+

Gubak Kia, short rib kuey teow

I read about this stall (#01-27B Timbre+, 73A Ayer Rajah Crescent) on how it's a legacy from the Empress Place Beef Kway Teow. Kinda like MooTeow Chilli Beef Kway Teow but not the same. The genealogy of this particular brand of beef rice noodles and its relation to Hock Lam or not will not be covered in this blog. 

Gubak Kia servess Teochew styled beef kuey teow and puts a couple of their own spins. Like that beef short rib kuey teow which was honestly, very nicely done. That rib was slide off the bone tender and torched for that caramelized crust. Very savoury and pretty beefy.

The balance of the default flavouring are a little different from both the original Empress Place and Moo Teow. Default flavours referring to the broth that they add (did they even here?) to the dry kuey teow bowl, the amount of chilli sauce and sesame oil. Speaking of this, this chilli sauce did taste extra lime-y. Appreciated that this bowl was further richened by an onsen egg.

I topped it with extra chilli and a generous helping of crushed peanuts. I will come back for more.

Gubak Kia, Timbre+

Friday, December 27, 2019

Sama Sama by Tok Tok, Jewel Changi Airport

Sama Sama by Tok Tok, Jewel Changi Airport

This marks our first foray into Jewel. As we had suspected, it's a mall better suited for travellers and people on stop overs. Nothing much new to see for the locals apart from the pretty green heart of it. Since we were here, we had lunch at Sama Sama by Tok Tok (#03-225/226 Jewel Changi Airport, 78 Airport Boulevard, tel : +65 6904 3971) which is an upmarket Indonesian restaurant.

Sama Sama by Tok Tok, keropok

We were served keropok with kecap manis and sliced chilli.

Sama Sama by Tok Tok, sambal goreng kentang

The food's different even though some of the names were familiar. I'm guessing that some of the dishes here evolved into a local rendition of what might have come from Indonesia.

Like this mildly spicy sambal goreng kentang. The dish was pasty from either some sort of rempah or crushed chicken liver or both that they used. Not much in terms of flavour or appearances like the local sambal goreng. The menu listed chicken gizzards and heart but we got a lot of liver and gizzards. Along with potatoes, tempe and petai. It's not bad if one enjoys liver. Good with rice.

Sama Sama by Tok Tok, urap

That's their rendition of urap. A salad of sorts. The vegetables were cold and the bean sprouts were thankfully cooked. Compared to the local renditions of the dish I've tried, this appeared to be more bland. What I prefer much from the local urap is that there is more aroma and sweetness from serunding/serundeng (sweet toasted shredded coconut). The coconut used in this registered little flavour.

Sama Sama by Tok Tok, sayur lodeh

We ordered their sayur lodeh thinking that it might have been like a local rendition with a little bit of difference. We didn't recognize it when it arrived and even clarified if we had been served something else. The sayur selection was much different from the local variety - all of which were in a light and savoury coconut milk broth. There were pieces of jackfruit, strips of chilli, petai and tempe. I liked it quite a bit because it had warmth from the spices and an almost velvet comforting quality. Don't know how this rendition came about though.

Sama Sama by Tok Tok, sate kambing

That's sate kambing. Lamb satay Indonesian style. Very nice. Possibly one of the rare instances where there was little lamb flavour in the meat where I didn't feel like picking on. The meat was tender, had a smoky flavour from the grill and a sweet glaze. I'd eat this again.

Sama Sama by Tok Tok,

Pretty decent nasi kuning they have there. Not as flavourful as the one from Dancing Fish Signature but decent nonetheless.

I'm thinking that I wouldn't mind coming back.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

The Forty Hands before Ip Man

Forty Hands, Tiong Bahru

We tried Forty Hands about eight years ago. It was about that time these Australian-sy styled cafe places that did all day breakfast/brunch started trending locally and eight years later, the Instagram kids still think their Eggs Benedict still look cool through the filters. Didn't leave much impression then and if my memory serves, I didn't think much of their coffee. But it's been eight years, we were in the vicinity before catching Ip Man 4 and didn't mind seeing if things have changed.

Forty Hands, tau sar pau

That's the tau sar pau which I see many photos of online. I'm sure it's because kids today don't have the privilege of eating them when they were young and it's a novelty for old food in a place they like to be seen at.

Forty Hands, tau sar pau

And that's how post of the pictures are taken on social media. Split right down the middle exposing the red bean paste. To be honest, it's not bad. Somewhat expensive but I enjoyed it.

Forty Hands, dirty matcha

I have a thing for matcha with espresso. McD has had it for a short while a few years back and I usually get mine from Starbucks. Between the them, I found a very nice balance from this dirty matcha from Forty Hands. Very nice balance between the green tea and the coffee.

Forty Hands, cheeseburger

Tried their cheeseburger because what the menu described sounded fairly sensible. Ordered it with less sauce.

Forty Hands, cheeseburger

I supposed eating this allowed me the epiphany why places like Omakase Burger and Burger+ can get away with charging they amount the charge for their burgers. Because they taste good and anything that tasted as good or better is more expensive.

But I digressed a little. The beef patty for this one was dense - not sure where or what was the bone marrow that was described in the menu. Meat was peppery too. Didn't taste bad but I don't think it was a good patty for a burger. The lopsided melted Provolone meant I got cheese on half the burger only. With forty hands I would assume that they would have had hbandwidth for the attention to such details. Pun intended.

I wouldn't order it again.

Forty Hands, avocado toast

This might be the first avocado toast I've ever gotten. Not bad. Would have been improved with more feta cheese but I'm not complaining. Pesto on the side was nice and I appreciated that the salad was actually tossed.

Forty Hands, Tiong Bahru

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Shun X Sakemaru (旬 X 酒丸), Cuppage Plaza

Shun X Sakemaru (旬 X 酒丸), Cuppage Plaza

Heard about Shun X Sakemaru (#04-04 Cuppage Plaza, 5 Koek Road, tel : +65 6732 0195) - a collaboration between the izakaya Shun from Kappo Shunsui and Sakemaru. I've never patronized any of them before but I heard interesting things so I thought to give this one a go. These guys are located right next to Kazu.

Shun X Sakemaru, clamato red eye

The drink menu has a Clamato red eye so I got one while waiting for the food. It was a lot more Clamato than beer and the Tabasco flavour was non-existent.

Shun X Sakemaru, otoshi

Otoshi was a simmered fish in dashi/mirin. Possibly yellowtail. Tender, fatty and falling apart in the mouth infused by its sweet broth.

Shun X Sakemaru, menu

We ordered the simmered monkfish liver that they had on their seasonal menu.

Shun X Sakemaru, monkfish liver

When it was served, we realized that it wasn't simmered. The liver was a mousse. Very creamy, possibly with real cream and a light hint of ginger. Very nice. The crunchy pickled radish on the side tasted like they were made in house. The flavour was almost caramel. Very nice too. 

Shun X Sakemaru, yellowtail

This was chopped up yellowtail with sour plum and sweet miso. The dressing was perky and was unexpectedly livened up further with the shiso flowers. Loved this.

Shun X Sakemaru, fried amaebi seaweed

The menu described this as sweet prawn and seaweed under the fried food section. Anything that required deep frying made that section so I thought it might have been isobe tempura. But these were just deep fried amaebi. Good munching because of the flavour from the shrimps and I kinda liked the pepper mayo. 

Shun X Sakemaru, bacon

Smoked bacon which was as good as it looked and sounded.

Shun X Sakemaru, yuzu pepper chicken soup

The menu described this as yuzu pepper chicken soup. Didn't taste any yuzu pepper but it was a pretty nice light to medium intensity soup. The chunks of chicken were smooth and tender.

Shun X Sakemaru, dashi tamagoyaki

We topped up with some dashi tamagoyaki before carbs. Freshly made, light and savoury.

Shun X Sakemaru, uni risotto

Carbs was their uni risotto. Which was a little disappointing because the flavour didn't come through. As a dish, it didn't taste bad. I liked the use of shiso flowers. But the rice tasted mostly like light soy sauce and I suppose if one tried the darndest, there was something subtle in the background. For what they charged, we had expected to be impressed. The uni was good though.

Shun X Sakemaru (旬 X 酒丸), Cuppage Plaza

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Fatty char siew and duck liver rice from Hong Kong Jin Tian

At least that's what I ordered. The char siew wasn't that fatty but it was well caramelized with sweet bits of burnt ends. While the name of the stall is Hong Kong Jin Tian, this plate tasted little like char siew rice in Hong Kong. The barbequed pork is definitely a local style which has more sweet to savoury ratio. Duck liver's dry. I got a couple of duck hearts with that. All in all a pretty decent plate of 烧腊 rice if one were to discount the fibrous vegetables. Heh!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Christmas tenderloin and fried rice from Tsui Wah

Tsui Wah, fried rice teriyaki tenderloin

Tsui Wah has a Christmas set meal going on. We took the option without desserts so it's $20.80 for this teriyaki tenderloin with fried rice and a soup. It's pretty good. The beef was pan fried to a medium doneness and wasn't over sauced. That fried rice was one of the better ones I've had in recent times. While there are differences, it's comparable in quality to Din Tai Fung in my opinion. Liked that it was sufficiently salted and pretty eggy.

Note to self - stick to their borscht. S-t-i-c-k  t-o  t-h-e-i-r  b-o-r-s-c-h-t.

Tsui Wah, condense milk buns

The reason we took the meal without soup was because the dessert that came with it looked like a boring brownie. We ordered their condensed milk buns instead. The crisp light buns was simple and yet so good. Worthy of the praises people have been heaping on them.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

You Yi (友誼), Havelock Road Food Centre

You Yi (友誼), tom yum noodles

I've been asked if I've tried the fish soup at Havelock Food Centre. Most of the time, it isn't specified whether the fish soup in question is referring Yu Mei Mei Shi or this one (#01-30 Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre, 22A/B Havelock Road). Unless that someone mentions the fried fish specifically which will allow me to conclude that they were talking about this particular stall. I haven't but I decided to give it a go today since I was early and the usual queue that plagues the stall has not yet gotten unbearable.

You Yi (友誼), fried fish

I got the tom yum ee mee option. The broth was a little spicy, heavy with tomato and cloudy. Didn't taste exactly like Thai tom yum but that was probably not the point. The fish they used were of the fresh water variety for both the sliced ones and the fried. That much I could tell without being able pinpointing the specific fish. Sliced fish were pretty fresh but the fried ones were slightly mushy. The batter was light and it was well fried but I didn't think so much of the fish itself. Not as tasty as what I was led to believe from hearsay.

You Yi (友誼), Havelock Road Food Centre