Friday, January 31, 2020

We meet again, natto-kun!!

Monster Curry, natto curry rice

I had my first experience with natto years back. It wasn't a good one. I didn't like it. I don't remember how it tasted like. So throughout these years, I've gotten curious about them again but never gotten myself to order them because I was worried that it'll be another pretty strong negative reaction towards them.

I tried them again recently at Monster Curry (#B4-52 ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn). Curry rice with natto. It's not bad. Before anyone starts speculating about how the curry or that level 4 spiciness might have muted the flavour, I ate them by their own. And with rice. There was some cheesiness that I detected which is presumably one of the fermentation. And also what I thought to be something that tasted like a hint of coffee or chocolate.

I don't know the difference between the first try at Shunjuu and this one. The quality might have been quite different and hence my reaction to their flavours. But I suppose this was encouragement for me to try more in the future.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Anglo Indian Cafe & Bar, Chijmes

Anglo Indian Cafe & Bar, lassi

Have passed by this place a number of times before and each of those times, I've wondered if they were good. So here now. Lassi from Anglo Indian Cafe & Bar (#01-13 Chijmes, 30 Victoria Street, tel : +65 6873 2750) was okay. Not as thick as I would have liked but drinkable stuff.

Anglo Indian Cafe & Bar,

The description of the tandoori broccoli sounded pretty good on the menu. Something about cheese, yoghurt and cardamom. The flavour was not as intense as I had imagined. There was a bit of smokiness. Not a bad tasting broccoli dish though.

Anglo Indian Cafe & Bar, indian railway mutton curry

We ordered their Indian railway mutton curry. Never had it before and I'm pretty sure everyone has their rendition of it. This curry was savoury and tangy.  Tangy like a lot of tomatoes or tamarind kind of tangy. Liked it quite a bit. Paired very nicely with naan or rice. Mutton was very tender. Would not mind eating this again at all.

Anglo Indian Cafe & Bar, palak paneer

Pretty thick and savoury palak paneer they have. Judging from the spinach puree I think I might just like their saag gosht.

Anglo Indian Cafe & Bar, cheese naan

Cheese naan. While I have always reminded myself to go for those without any stuffings since we're already going with dips, I still usually get distracted by them stuffings. Not bad.

Anglo Indian Cafe & Bar, jeera pulao

Jeera pulao needs a bit more salt to be good on its own. But since we were going with the savoury pureed palak and the Indian railway curry, it worked out in the end.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Sausage McMuffin with misshapen egg from McD

Sausage McMuffin

McD as a business in its delivery is consistent. That, is understandably a need to manage a global franchise of many thousands of outlets. What's also consistent is how withered their product looks compared to the pictures on their menu. What's not consistent was an egg that I got recently when I up-pattied a sausage muffin with egg. The egg looked....for a lack of a better word, mutated in the the context of McD and the usual disc shaped egg that they slip into their muffins.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Red Sparrow, Dempsey Road

Red Sparrow, Dempsey

Red Guardian, Crimson Dynamo, Omega Red, Black Widow; all these "reddish" names (except Reddington) remind me of those old Russian/commie code names for superhumans and assassins. Like the Red Army. Definitely Red Sparrow (#01-18,  11 Dempsey Road, tel : +65 6776 6118) as well. As if the connotations weren't already enough, there was even an old Soviet Union sickle and hammer emblazoned across at the back of their bar.

Red Sparrow, chanh muối

But enough of communists and imagined Russian super humans from the dusty pages of comics. We're doing Vietnamese today. We began with a glass of their chanh muối - a hot drink made with preserved/salted lime. 

Red Sparrow, banh xeo

I struggle with pronunciation of Vietnamese words even for the food. So today, we learnt that the bánh xèo has an enunciation that sounds something like 'bun shao'. Their pancake by the way, was huge. Largest we've ever had in our limited experience and stuffed with mushrooms, bean sprouts, pork belly and shrimp. The skin was nicely greased, light and very crisp at the edges like paper thosai.

Red Sparrow, bo bia

Red Sparrow has possibly the largest selection of rice paper rolls on menu we've come across. We tried their bò bía which featured something like lup cheong with omelette and stewed turnip - very much like our local poh piah. Liked it. What we didn't see coming was that it had been the pan fried omelette tied brought the roll together with its flavour.

Red Sparrow, ca cuon

The other roll which they had which I thought was outstanding was their cá cuốn. The grilled snapper and fermented anchovies had already killed it. The tangy and mildly spicy pineapple dip on the side pedestal-ized it as something I'd come back for.

Red Sparrow, tokin jasmine flower

This dish as we learnt was stir fried Tonkin jasmine flower. Kinda like those cowslip creepers that we used to get in Bangkok. Stir fried with shrimps and bean sprouts in what might have been oyster sauce and lots of black pepper. One of those things that one just had to go with steamed rice.

Red Sparrow, canh cá thì la

We had a soup called canh cá thì la. The menu mentioned it had tomato but we saw slices of starfruit. The other items in it was a bouncy fish paste and lots of dill. Very nice.

Red Sparrow, scallops

Ordered some scallops which were sweet. Wished there was a bit more of the char to round it up a notch though.

Red Sparrow, rice

I mentioned steamed rice earlier.

Red Sparrow, vietnamese egg coffee

So here be my virgin experience with the cà phê trứng - Vietnamese egg coffee. Egg yolk was sweeten and beaten in to a froth, kinda like a sabayon which would be layered over what I thought was a Vietnamese espresso. Not bad. 

Red Sparrow

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Mixed beef kuey teow from Gubak Kia

Gubak Kia, mixed beef kuey teow

I might have gone a little overboard with the peanuts there but the stall was closing up soon for the long weekend so why waste them right? Anyways, I liked this dry kuey teow from Gubak Kia. Wished they were a bit more generous with the mixed beef parts though. If I had to pick what I thought to be the better bowl, I'm pretty sure I enjoyed the Empress Place bowl a bit more. What ultimately made a difference between this guys versus Empress Place and MooTeow were the peanuts.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Getting grilled cheese and hotdog from Five Guys

Five Guys, grilled cheese hotdog

So we're back at Five Guys. This time with a cheese dog and a grilled cheese sandwich where we've added a beef patty. Hotdog's pretty salty and not particularly memorable. But that nicely browned and appropriately greasy grilled cheese....I'm coming back for.

Five Guys, strawberry vanilla shake

Today's strawberry and vanilla shake. Another day another flavour.

Five Guys, peanuts

Friday, January 24, 2020

River Valley Nasi Lemak, Lucky Plaza

River Valley Nasi Lemak, Lucky Plaza

Came across this stall (#B1-99/101 Lucky Plaza, 304 Orchard Road) that is opened in the morning early enough for breakfast in one of those uncommon times we were in Lucky Plaza early enough for breakfast. I'm guessing by their name that they used to operate somewhere off River Valley in the past.

The nasi lemak was okay. I felt that the standards of their rice aren't great just like everyone else's. Drumstick was dry and sinewy. Otah's actually not bad. Ditto for the dry-ish potato patty thingy (begedil?). Egg's very thin, sambal's sweet and the fish was more crisp than meat. It's not bad that I wouldn't mind eating again if I'm here but I'm not coming back specially for this.

River Valley Nasi Lemak, Lucky Plaza

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Alijiang (阿里疆) Silk Road Cuisine, VivoCity

Alijiang (阿里疆) Silk Road Cuisine, VivoCity

These guys (#03-11B VivoCity, 1 Harbour Front Walk, tel : +65 6252 4979) are relatively new and the menu from appearances is focused on Silk Road Cuisine. If I had to summarize into laymen's terms, north western China/Muslim/Middle Eastern would be pretty accurate no matter how one looked at it. I'm pretty sure that there are influences from other parts of Asia that they didn't bother to mention as part of their marketing as well.

I was interested because this meant that the food from the regions of Chinese Muslim regions like Xinjiang would be represented.

Alijiang (阿里疆) Silk Road Cuisine, apricot tea

Li Guang apricot tea was kinda nice. Tasted very much like regular apricots if anyone was wondering.

Alijiang (阿里疆) Silk Road Cuisine, lamb skewers

We started off with some of their lamb skewers (羊肉串). Flavour was pretty good. While the quality wasn't questionable, they were also more expensive than what I'm used to seeing them go for.

Alijiang (阿里疆) Silk Road Cuisine, mushrooms tricholoma matsutake

There was a mushroom dish which the English translation called tricholoma matsutake. They looked like regular brown/button mushrooms but were very flavourful. An umami heavyweight that was perfumed by dill. Very delicious.

Alijiang (阿里疆) Silk Road Cuisine, lychee cherry tomato salad

Followed by a chilled lychee and cherry tomato salad which was refreshing in its own citrus-y manner. Very nice too.

Alijiang (阿里疆) Silk Road Cuisine, lamb in a cage

Their 'lamb in a cage' looked like it was meat from the rib. They were served in a contraption with hooks.

Alijiang (阿里疆) Silk Road Cuisine, lamb

Then removed from the contraption and sliced into bite size pieces. Very nice lamb-y flavour with bits of fat.

Alijiang (阿里疆) Silk Road Cuisine, grilled pineapples

We ordered some grilled pineapple to go with it and it was sweet and delicious as well from the grilling.

Alijiang (阿里疆) Silk Road Cuisine, xinjiang rice

We tried a dish called Xinjiang specialty rice. It was rice cooked in a pot on order after some yellow peppers, carrots, onions and bits of lamb were sizzled in oil. Not much else went into it. 

Alijiang (阿里疆) Silk Road Cuisine, xinjiang rice

There was a sweetness from the vegetables that was infused into the rice along with the fat from the lamb. I liked this.

Alijiang (阿里疆) Silk Road Cuisine, concubine pastry

Tried a bunch of their desserts. This rice cake was translated as 'fragrant concubine pastry'. It's not so much pastry than it was layers of sticky rice. In between the rice were cranberries and raisins. The yellow stuff on the top might have been millet. There was osmanthus honey drizzled over it. Not bad.

Alijiang (阿里疆) Silk Road Cuisine, turkish milk rice

We also tried something called Turkish milk rice. Rice that was cooked with sweetened milk and flavoured with vanilla. Tasted like how it sounded. This stuff is good when it's hot.

Alijiang (阿里疆) Silk Road Cuisine, yoghurt

Some fruity yoghurt that has a caramelized sugar top like crème brûlée. The other brown stuff tasted like Coke flavoured pop rocks. Cool. But this was not the end to the yoghurt.

Alijiang (阿里疆) Silk Road Cuisine, imperial pea pastry

The new flavour to me was what they called 'Imperial pea pastry'. Again, it wasn't a pastry but a gelatinous pudding of sorts that was made from beans. Tasted like mung bean or chick pea but lightly sweetened. Intriguing which kinda latched onto me.

Alijiang (阿里疆) Silk Road Cuisine, yoghurt

When we got the bill, we were given more yoghurt. With honey. Nice.

Alijiang (阿里疆) Silk Road Cuisine, VivoCity

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Strawberry dango from Isetan

Got these from the dango stand at Isetan. I had the idea that it was some strawberry sauce lathered on top of those dango but it was actually strawberry flavoured bean paste.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Another go at Lau Phua Chay

I happened to be in the vicinity getting lunch and saw that there wasn't any queue at Lau Phua Chay so I decided to give them another try. I don't think my opinion of them has changed. Unless one is enamoured with that sauce, I don't get the appeal.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Steamed oysters and frog legs from Lao You Ji (老友記)

Lao You Ji Seafood Restaurant, oysters

We came back to Lao You Ji for their luncheon meat fried rice amongst other things and noticed that they had steamed oysters on the menu. We asked about their 'market price' and it turned out to be $12 a piece. Pretty expensive but they convinced us that the quality was good and that the oysters were large. We picked the one steamed with black bean sauce. While it wasn't in the same league as the largest I've personally had, it was hefty and the quality was pretty good like they claimed.  

Lao You Ji Seafood Restaurant, kung bao frog legs

Tried their kung bao frog legs. I was hoping that there would be more luxuriant gravy like those that are sold in frog porridge stalls but the gravy in here was scarce. Rather edible if not remarkable. Somehow, the preparation had dislodged quite a bit of the meat off the legs so we were fishing around in the pot for frog thighs and calves separated from the bones.

Lao You Ji Seafood Restaurant, Outram Road

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Good Morning Nanyang Cafe, Far East Plaza

Good Morning Nanyang Cafe, orange ciabatta

I remember the orange ciabatta with kaya from Good Morning Nanyang Cafe from years ago. I kinda liked it. Had the impression that the business had wound down in the past years but it turned out that there is still one last bastion (#02-23 Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Road).

I don't know if the owners are the same but the coffee was pretty decent. I did think that there seemed less orange peel in the ciabatta than what I recall. Not a bad eat but I was hoping for something more memorable.

Good Morning Nanyang Cafe, Far East Plaza

Saturday, January 18, 2020

January in Suju

Suju Japanese Restaurant, gohan set

Yet another dinner at Suju, I daresay our favourite teishoku restaurant.

Suju Japanese Restaurant, kuro goma tofu

Just when we thought we've tried pretty much what we thought might be nice, we discovered their kuro goma tofu in a dashi sauce. This one to be savoured slowly for the black sesame flavour. Pairs excellently with the sweetness from the grated wasabi.

Suju Japanese Restaurant, white fish shiso tempura

Also for the first time, we tried a tempura of white fish wrapped in shiso. As a bonus, that one piece on the left contained grey meat! Nicely fried without being heavy. For some reasons the words that came to mind after eating this was "Japanese fish and chips".

Suju Japanese Restaurant, pork belly kinoko cabbage

Pork belly, kinoko and cabbage stir fried with ponzu. The citrus flavour in the dish made it refreshing.

Suju Japanese Restaurant, beef cheek miso nikomi

Tee hee......

Suju Japanese Restaurant, Mandarin Gallery