Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Bacon, egg and cheese on rye from Two Men Bagel House

Two Men Bagel House, bacon egg cheese rye

It seems that I've been cozying up a little in the past week with Two Men Bagel House. That's their BEC on rye bagel. For reasons, it triggered memories of BKK Bagel. Maybe it was the flavour. Not bad. I personally thought it would have worked without the mayo and a stronger/saltier cheese type would have upped their game.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Xin Curry Fish Head Zhu Chao (鑫咖喱鱼头煮炒), Tanglin Halt

Xin Curry Fish Head Zhu Chao (鑫咖喱鱼头煮炒), Tanglin Halt

Possibly the first coffeeshop where I could say that I've tried the food from all the stalls because this one only has three. Xin Curry Fish Head Zhu Chao (Guan Kim Coffeeshop, 47 Tanglin Halt Road) is located in Guan Kim Restaurant (it's a local coffee shop) where Maria's Corner and Shen Ji Chicken Rice are at. The latter two are closed after lunch hours.

Xin Curry Fish Head Zhu Chao (鑫咖喱鱼头煮炒), bitter gourd omelette

Bitter gourd in the omelette are in slightly thicker strips rather than thin sliced. It's okay. Not one of the better ones I've had but nothing to gripe about either. 

Xin Curry Fish Head Zhu Chao (鑫咖喱鱼头煮炒),

This deep fried salted egg chicken reminded me of the Ultraman chicken from Sum Kee Food at Telok Blangah. These were a little saucier and became a little hard after they were cooled down. The ones from Sum Kee were meatier. I found the ones from Sum Kee to be more addictive.

Xin Curry Fish Head Zhu Chao (鑫咖喱鱼头煮炒), nai bai

Stir fried nai bai was nice. Sweet, savoury and garlic-ky.

Xin Curry Fish Head Zhu Chao (鑫咖喱鱼头煮炒), chai por steamed fish head

Those fried bits all over the fish were chai por (preserved turnip), not garlic. Fish was tender and flakey so that much can be said for the freshness. The soy sauce that they used was also a little sweet. I wonder if it's added sugar. Pretty good with rice though with the bits of fried chai por and slices of chilli padi

Xin Curry Fish Head Zhu Chao (鑫咖喱鱼头煮炒),

The rendition of sambal petai here had onions which added texture. Interestingly this rendition was also a little sweet. I don't know if that sweetness came from the onions or was it sugar. The flavour profile was different from the punchy savoury ones that Tian Tian Seafood and Sin Hoi Sai does because of the sweetness. Still very nice with rice.

Xin Curry Fish Head Zhu Chao (鑫咖喱鱼头煮炒),

It wouldn't be a cze char dinner without some rice.

Xin Curry Fish Head Zhu Chao (鑫咖喱鱼头煮炒), Tanglin Halt

Monday, July 29, 2019

Avo-baco from Two Men Bagel House

Two Men Bagel House, avo-baco

Bacon, avocado, fried egg, tomatoes, some greens and an aioli I couldn't quite identify between sliced Cheddar bagel for breakfast. Delicious and a little messy. The Cheddar bagel's not bad. I could actually taste some of the cheese. For reasons, this shop reels me back once in a while. So far the bagel experience is improving.

Two Men Bagel House, Icon Village

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Pig's organ soup (猪什汤) stall at Toh Guan's Broadway coffeeshop

Have had lunch at this stall located at Broadway Coffeeshop (286E Toh Guan Road) a couple of times recently. If my memory serves, the stall sold pig's organ soup and soya sauce braised pig trotters. Their mee sua with mixed pig's organs with sliced bitter gourd (above) was pretty good. Nothing life changing but a straightforward tasty bowl of salty porcine deliciousness.

One could get the soup and rice option as well. Apparently a choice was provided between bitter gourd or salted vegetables for this. I got the latter. Loved the bits of fried garlic and its oil that they added to the broth. The soya sauce eggs and tau kwa were well flavoured too. What I didn't expect was that they used short grained rice rather than the regular longer grain variety. 

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Shi Li Fang (食立方), Tiong Bahru Plaza

Shi Li Fang (食立方), Tiong Bahru Plaza

I'm generally not so big on hot pots. Not that I don't like them but the weather is usually hot enough as it is and I prefer if possible to eat in comfort rather than induced perspiration. There has only been a single experience when I've had these and never broke sweat and it is till this day a little surreal. I was curious enough about Shi Li Fang (#02-112 Tiong Bahru Plaza, 302 Tiong Bahru Road, tel : +65 6870 8898) a Taiwanese hot pot chain after having seen various of their outlets numerous times though.

One of the fun things about these hot pot places are the condiments available which one can concoct their own sauces/dips. Each time is a unique flavour even though the ingredients may not vary much. There's always something that you could decide to add on a whim, forget or even get wrong the proportions. Look at what I made for myself this time round.

Shi Li Fang (食立方), beef

Tried the Australian beef. Not so good. There was barely any beefy flavour so I'll skip these the next time or get the wagyu.

Shi Li Fang (食立方), pork

Pork was pretty decent. Because of the nature of its light flavour, works well as a platform for the sauces.

Shi Li Fang (食立方), prawn paste

There's some prawn paste thingy with ebiko I believe. This was surprisingly good. The paste had quite a lot of prawn in it.

Shi Li Fang (食立方), luncheon meat

Luncheon meat was the unhealthy but usually welcomed option.

Shi Li Fang (食立方), tofu skin

These were rolls of fried tofu skin which one could dip in the broth to soak up. The lighter tasting broths are usually better because the flavour of these tofu skins still get through.

Shi Li Fang (食立方), scallops

The pictures on the menu showed scallops with corals. The actual serving didn't have them. Were frozen. But after we cooked them, they were delicious. Sweet even. Pleasantly surprised.

A couple more of tofu items. The ones on the left I believe are the frozen tofu (冻豆腐) and the ones on the right which were called mock chicken were actually 百页. The frozen tofu wasn't as good as those I've had before. These were a little thin and it ended up tasting a bit like tau pok.

Shi Li Fang (食立方), vegetables

O-b-l-i-g-a-t-o-r-y. But those nai bai were nice and even the Chinese spinach were surprisingly good after being cooked in the chicken collagen broth.

Shi Li Fang (食立方), lamb

There was lamb so we had gotta get some. These thin sliced ones were good with its natural flavour from the meat. The better (or best) option to get compared to the next.

Shi Li Fang (食立方), lamb

This lamb was marinated. Salted. Tenderised but fortunately not so much that it had become an unidentifiable protein matter. Didn't have much flavour of lamb though. Anything that didn't taste good on their own makes a good vehicle for the DIY sauces. Will skip these in the future.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Godmama, Funan

Godmama, Funan

I’ve read posted sentiments which briefly echoes a shallow poignancy about the loss of appreciation for Peranakan cuisine followed by how much the Peranakans have contributed to the history and culture of our country. The purpose of that writing I deduce, was a feeble attempt to craft a pseudo-erudite image as there wasn't even any attempt to explain how the two were related. 

I have more than a couple of thoughts on this matter. I do feel that Peranakan food deserves a bit more attention. I think it’s not so much of a problem in recent years with the new (and old) restaurants getting some spotlight. Even starlight as things were. The other part of me simply thinks - come what may. Peranakan food and its makers intrinsically doesn’t lend itself to survival well as a cuisine because of the effort it takes to create their food and that the people who do it love to - I repeat, love to upscale their take. Not gonna fly if you want to be popular because it’s priced out of the budget of many. 

But I rant…...

This is Godmama (#04-07 Funan, 109 North Bridge Road, tel : +65 6970 0828).

Godmama, cocktail

The menu's pretty curated and there's cocktails. This one I had was described to be made with pineapple rum and pineapple jam. It didn't taste much like pineapple so that was disappointing. But the mezcal in it the gave the drink a smokey depth and the cardamom was a nice touch. 

Godmama, nasi ulam

This was our first nasi ulam. Seen it in pictures but have never tried it till now. Godmama's version. Light, herbaceous and I was quite fascinated by the flavour profile which had somehow omitted the mackerel that was in it. The menu mentioned that an order was good for two but the portion looked like it was just good for one.

Godmama, chap chye

Pretty good chap chye they did. Broth has a clean prawn flavour. There was just enough garlic in the dish that its use could be detected but didn't come off as strong as many other renditions.

Godmama, babi pongteh

Their babi pongteh was nice. Liked the flavour of the fermented soy bean gravy and those tender strips of fatty pork belly that readily fell apart in the mouth. We ordered extra rice for this.

Godmama, sotong masak hitam

Sotong masak hitam was also pretty tasty. Squid was tender and the assam in the squid ink sauce made it very appetizing. Great with that extra rice.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Back in ChoWon Garden

ChoWon Garden, Peck Seah Street

We haven't been eating at ChoWon Garden for quite a long while. Precisely the same thought I had the last time we were here.  

ChoWon Garden, banchan

The banchan arrived customarily after orders were taken. At first glance, they looked like they were run of the mill and indistinguishable from "the usual stuff that's served everywhere". But one of them actually featured red meat, I can't tell which, that tasted like babi pongteh with gochujang

ChoWon Garden, buchimgae

What truly surprised us pleasantly were cow lung egg fritters (buchimgae?). Certainly didn't expect to get those. Took a bit of chewing to get the flavours out. Nice.

ChoWon Garden, yukhoe chobap

That's their yukhoe chobap, a minced raw beef sushi drizzled generously with sesame oil. I thought this tasted pretty good.

ChoWon Garden, octopus pancake

Their nakji pajeon (octopus pancake) was not bad. A little greasy with bits of octopus tentacles, egg and spring onions mostly. Didn't look as fascinating as the picture on the menu though.

ChoWon Garden, beef brisket doenjang jigae

The other dish we had which was unexpectedly outstanding was their chadol doenjang jigae - a fermented bean paste stew with thinly sliced beef brisket. Vegetables and tofu inside as well. Flavour from the fermented bean broth with rendered fat from the brisket was addictively delicious. Perfect with a bowl of steamed rice. 

ChoWon Garden, Peck Seah Street

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Te Mana lamb at The Pelican

The Pelican, One Fullerton

We haven't been to The Pelican in a while. If anyone is interested in knowing, the restaurant no longer serve their complimentary delicious seaweed sourdough possibly because people were more interested in them than the other things on the menu.


They do have a sort of showcase thing going on for Te Mana lamb from New Zealand which is billed as the wagyu of lamb. A few items on the menu were based on those lamb.

The Pelican, lobster bisque

Not their lobster bisque though. No lamb in there. It was still nice. It had a lot less cream going on than many and a nice crustacean sweetness in it. There were also tiny chunks of orange segments in the soup which were kinda nice in a warm orange-y manner.

The Pelican, te mana lamb rump sandwich

So here's that Te Mana lamb rump sandwich in more colour saturation and less ideal light conditions for a photo shot. As a whole, I liked it. Nice cabbage and pear slaw in a buttery brioche. But the ratio of ingredients in the sandwich was a poor showcase for the flavour of the lamb. Too much texture and flavours going on. Could have been solved by more generosity of that thinly sliced lamb rump but clearly they failed the showcase here. Brioche was dry and crumbly. Needed moisture or should have picked a sturdy rye instead. But I still enjoyed it. Couldn't tell it apart from a regular lamb though.

The Pelican, lamb shank

There was a shank braised in red wine sauce and blue cheese polenta. Shank was competently cooked. Tender and had the lamb-y flavour from the bits of fat in them. No blue cheese flavour at all from the polenta which was a little bit disappointing but I kept my expectations really low on that part. It was buttery and cheesy which made it pretty enjoyable. Tomatoes were juicy and bursting with sweetness. Calling this this the wagyu of lamb raises expectations. The differences between another good lamb shank and this was - well, almost impossible to tell.

The Pelican, One Fullerton

Monday, July 22, 2019

Burger +, Wisma Atria

Burger +, Wisma Atria

These guys (#01-37/38 Wisma Atria, 435 Orchard Road) are Korean and have taken over the old site of Omakase Burger; selling what appeared to be burgers that look and even taste like those from Omakase Burger. Right down to the buns.

Anyways, Burger + was priced similarly if not more than them. Kinda like around how much it would cost to eat at Shake Shack. They even taste quite similar though it was more Omakase Burger than Shake Shack. But they aren't identical. The buns from Burger + didn't hold up well to the burger juices. Wasn't well built as they were almost falling apart halfway through. Patty didn't taste exactly the same even though I've to admit it was pretty similar through the melted cheddar.

I did enjoy it. Those burgers were tender and much lighter than it looked. Avocado shake was also pretty enjoyable. Their pricing also means that I won't be visiting with any regularity.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Eee Mo BBQ (이모), Maxwell Road

Eee Mo BBQ (이모), Maxwell Road

Check out those banchan. It's better than what I'm used to getting with the processed food and all. We've walked past Eee Mo (32 Maxwell Road, tel : +65 6509 4173) numerous times (what's new at this point eh?) and finally came to eat.

Back to the banchan. Battered and fried squid legs, pretty solid kimchi that had a good balance of spiciness and sour and some pig terrine thing where I saw ears - just to name some. Not bad at all.

Eee Mo BBQ (이모), fried rice

I forgot what this was called but it's a fried rice with beef briskets and kimchi radish. I know, not much can be seen of those kadugi bokkeumbap. The rice was nice and peppery with some beefiness.  It was delicious, I enjoyed it but the portions were unfortunately dismal for $20. For that price, I thought it would have been reasonable to be expecting at least twice those portions. Expensive it was.

Eee Mo BBQ (이모), kongguksu

We were pretty excited that they had kongguksu on the menu so we ordered one. If you didn't know, it's a bowl of chilled wheat noodles in a broth of soy milk. The flavour of that broth was nutty and pretty much how I imagined that it. Don't know if there were other ingredients other than soy beans though. We were given a bit of salt for flavour but at the back of my mind, I couldn't help but think that it would taste better sweet than salty. 

Eee Mo BBQ (이모), bassak bulgogi

That's an order of their bassak bulgogi - a bulgogi variant that is said to originate from Eonyang in Korea. It's a dry variety which I believe was pressed into a pan and fried. Sweet, garlic-ky and savoury. It was a lot lighter than it looked too. Pretty good. At $39, also pretty expensive for the portions.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Feather Blade, Club Street

The Feather Blade, Club Street

New steak restaurant (90 Club Street) that only serves one cut of beef on their regular menu. The flat iron or a.k.a. feather blade. A cut from the chuck which is often described as tender as tenderloin but at a lower price. What is often omitted by those mentions is that it is also chewier than tenderloin. 

From what I gathered, The Feather Blade was started up by a guy who used to part time at The Flat Iron in the UK and took inspiration from them. As of now, the restaurant doesn't take reservations.

The Feather Blade

I don't remember if I've ever experienced this cut but it tasted much like flank. Beefy and pretty tender but with a less grainy texture. It's good with just salt and pepper but I got the horseradish cream on the side to see if it was any good. Lacked punch. I won't be getting it again.

The Feather Blade, creamed spinach mushrooms

Creamed spinach was delicious. Parmigiano Reggiano and a hint of nutmeg with cream on tender spinach. Nicely done if I might say so. Mushrooms were okay.

The Feather Blade, potatoes

Potatoes were not bad. I think they were fried in beef fat. The outside was crusty and crisp while the insides were mealy and soft. Not bad.

The Feather Blade, burger

There's a burger not on the menu with a patty that's made from the trimmings of their steak. What distinguished their burger was that the patty was deep fried in beef fat creating a crusty exterior - kinda like the meatballs that my grandmother used to make. The meat on the inside was of medium doneness. 

The Feather Blade, burger

They built their burger with the concept that it would have "none of that tomato, lettuce, cheese nonsense". While I didn't agree with the train of thought that paved the way to its creation, I was curious. Even if I generally wasn't a fan of Béarnaise which was pretty much the only topping apart from the shallots.

The texture was interesting to say the least. I liked the shallots. Did not enjoy the Béarnaise much as I had expected. I thought the flavour was overBéaring. The brioche, the onions and the patty all ended up pretty Béarnaise-y which in irony made it boring. A good salty cheese (think American, aged Cheddar or even one of the blue variety) would have been a much better option in my opinion.

The Feather Blade, Club Street