Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Fire Grill Western Grill, Food Republic @ Wisma Atria

Fire Grill Western Grill, chicken chop spaghetti

There's something to be said on the decal stuck in the front of the the stall about their philosophy. Something which they obviously do not follow or care about. Something about food being cooked on order. Everything on this plate betrayed that philosophy. The chicken chop was prepared before hand and merely seared on the griddle before they served. Less then 4 minutes all these took.

But it didn't taste bad. With the cheese powder, I found their pasta very edible. Chicken chop was nicely chao tar and if I might add, pretty tasty. Forget about the soup or the sauce on the side, it's not worth it.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Lino Pasta Bar, Shaw Centre

Lino Pasta Bar, Shaw Centre

Lino Pasta Bar (#03-23 Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road, tel : +65 6235 4653) is sister to Lino - which by extension falls under the wings of the Les Amis Group. The restaurant's small, menu's mostly focused on pasta and the setup is straight to the point - they're there to serve pasta. No frills except for the mafalde.

There was one particular wait staff that was so distracted by his mobile that for the four times that I needed him, I had to walk to him. Now that that's out of the way......

Lino Pasta Bar, tagliatelle bolognese

Tagliatelle Bolognese was....edible. It's a little tart with a lot of tomato and either little or no red wine variety which along with whatever herbs they used, reminded me of jarred pasta sauce. It's not nearly as bad but it was kinda disappointing.

Lino Pasta Bar, mafalde cacio e pepe

We liked their cacio e pepe though - done with mafalde and a fried egg. Unfortunately no molten yolk there. #disappointed. I was expecting more cheese and pepper but what they put in was good enough and sufficiently buttery on those satisfyingly chewy al dente wavy ribbons.

Lino Pasta Bar, chitarra mentaiko

The third plate we had was their chitarra with mentaiko and some cream topped with soft boiled egg and seaweed; flavoured with a bit of plum (it's actually ume if you hadn't already caught on). Very moreish flavours that one would more likely find in a Japanese restaurant. Very little of the ume to go round though since I didn't taste it in most of the pasta. But otherwise I liked it.

Lino Pasta Bar, chocolate gelato

Dessert was chocolate gelato - I'm thinking hazelnut chocolate. Topped with caramel pine nuts, white chocolate (which we initially thought might have been condensed milk...haha!) and little bits of lavender. Not bad. 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Coucou, Craig Road

Coucou, Craig Road

Maybe the Swiss aren't big on opening restaurants here. Marché aside, the one other outpost that comes to mind is Huber's. Coucou (9 Craig Road, tel : +65 6226 0060) came along, run by Yves Schmid - formerly restaurant manager of the defunct Senso for the past decade or so and its executive chef Sebastien Donati - former group executive chef of also Senso. How the transit happens from Italian to Swiss, I don't know.

We were given some spicy crispy potato skins while waiting for the food. Nice to munch, a little salty.

Coucou, salad

Their Coucou salad is apparently a thing. 

Coucou, salad

The shredded vegetables are accompanied by a little jug of dressing which according to Yves, is a recipe from his grand père. I can't break down the flavours but it's kinda like pesto. And it's good. Better tasting than what I had imagined. Refreshing with the crunchy "curly" vegetables.

Coucou, cold cuts

We got a half platter of their cold cuts and cheese. Which was fortunate because the portion was already pretty big. Air dried beef, ham, speck and coppa. A couple of Swiss cheese which I don't know. I'm quite the sucker for these things so yes, I enjoyed them.

Coucou, bread

Those cold cuts and cheese came with nice bread. The dark one has walnuts and the other, seemed to have a cheesy crust. Would have loved to have more bread for those cold cuts.

Coucou, pork tenderloin

A few of the items on the menu sounded good. We had to start somewhere. This was their pork tenderloin. Pan fried maybe with an outstanding creamy morel sauce. And a nice portion of those mushrooms. Meat was tender and pink in the middle. This was so good.

Coucou, spatzli

The pork came with a choice of side. We got the spatzli. Tasted like it was pan fried. It was buttery with some caramelized bits on the edges of the pasta. Nice.

Coucou, rosti

Since we were in a Swiss restaurant, one had to order the rosti right? Said no one that I know of. But we did anyway with the Zurich styled veal ragout. Liked this but I was surprised that the rosti was only half the pan. The other half with the ragout didn't have any potatoes underneath.

Coucou, meringue gruyere double cream berries

Dessert was superb. Meringue with Gruyère double cream and berries. It came with what I thought might have been a raspberry compote. I didn't upturn the entire jug of it. A generous drizzle would suffice while allowing the dessert to preserve a nice richness from the cream. What impressed me was that the meringue wasn't too sweet. So good.

Coucou, Craig Road

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Soh Food, Empress Road Food Centre

Soh Food, duck kuey teow

I thought this stall selling stewed duck and salted vegetable duck soup at Empress Rood Food Centre (#01-106, 7 Empress Road) looked like it was worth a try. One could choose between the drumstick, wings, the leg or even the whole of their braised duck.

The duck leg that I got was tender but the meat was a little dry and stringy. Not so uncommon of something that's been stewed for hours even though I was hoping that the meat might have been more moist. I liked that it wasn't excessively herbal. Sauce on the kuey teow was very lightly flavoured. The outstanding item was their spicy sambal belachan which saved the plate of kuey teow by transforming it from 'meh' to yummy.

Soh Food, Empress Road Food Centre

Friday, March 27, 2020

Chicken rice from Malaysia Chiak at Great World

Malaysia Chiak chicken rice

Malaysia Chiak is a Malaysian food themed food court set up by the Fei Xiong Group - the people responsible for a bunch of chain food courts like Encik Tan, Malaysia Boleh, Tangs Market and Nam Kee Pau. Amongst a few other. We happened to be looking for dinner and ended up at the branch at Great World (#B1-102/103, 1 Kim Seng Promenade). Chicken rice it was.

It's not bad. Rice wasn't too greasy and sufficiently flavoured which paired rather nicely with their lime-y chilli. Chicken was competent. This stall serves the Ipoh variety of chicken rice which included blanched bean sprouts and a milky bowl of chicken soup. Wouldn't mind this as a convenient go to.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Morganfield's, Star Vista

Morganfield's from Malaysia has opened up here for some years now. I've never had anything from their restaurant apart from a ham that I bought for Christmas. Managed to try their (#02-23 Star Vista, 1 Vista Exchange Green) ribs recently. Hickory on spare ribs and honey rum on their babybacks. Not bad - those ribs were reasonably tender and easily slid off the bone. These guys just outdid my ribs experience at Meatsmith Little India

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Poh, Empress Road Food Centre

I read about Poh (#01-89 Empress Road Food Centre, 7 Empress Road) online a couple of years ago. About how the proprietor had previously been working in various hotels before setting up this stall. What made me come by was because the stall also does chye por kuey teow which isn't easily available outside of Teochew restaurants. Teochew restaurants that will charge easily three times more for a plate.

It's good. Loved the sweet and saltiness from the chye por that paired with an eggy wok hei flavour infused into the kuey teow dish. Nicely done even though I found the amount of grease a little disconcerting. Do not mind coming back at all. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

KFC's Curry Twister

KFC curry twister

KFC has a new breakfast roll - the Curry Twister. It's not much little bigger than the mini burritos from Taco Bells so at $4.20 it was pretty expensive. At about the same price, it's also not as stuffed as the breakfast wrap from McD.  But the attempt at localization was what intrigued me. 

It's obvious KFC is ripping off imitating the idea from McD's breakfast wrap and re-wrapping it with a local flavour - which isn't as well done as I would have liked. Shame on them because it's Singapore and they fucked up the curry. Wasn't spicy or flavourful. To be fair, the wrap didn't taste bad. I'd consider it fair if it was just half the price of what they were charging.

KFC curry twister

Monday, March 23, 2020

Kushikatsu Tanaka, Clarke Quay

In a broad stroke, kushikatsu isn't big here. Not like how sushi, yakitori or even teppanyaki are. Hence, Kushikatsu Tanaka (#01-01B Clarke Quay, 3A River Valley Road, tel : +65 6258 3789) intrigued me since we don't have so many specialist of fried stuff on sticks around.

Right off the bat, one should not be expecting standards equivalent to the defunct Han or even Panko. I enjoyed their morokyu though. Cucumbers were nicely chilled and it even came with ume.

The spring section of their menu had mango beer so I got one to start. Nice - it was refreshing and sweet. It even had tiny bits of the fruit in the beer.

DIY potato salad is okay. Aren't these the smart thing to do to offload the elbow grease needed to the customer? Still prefer the one from Hokkaido Izakaya because of the smoked egg.

Loved munching on those mame aji karaage. I thought these crispy/meaty baby horse mackerels were appropriately salted without being too excessive and still enough to keep you reaching out for more.

Our kushikatsu came in two batches. This one had asparagus, shiso pork and shitake stuffed with meat. For the former item, I thought Panko did better. As a whole, I personally preferred a lighter breading. 

We had a bunch of other stuff like oysters (small-ish but tasty), scallops, quail eggs, cheese with bacon, cherry tomato with bacon and lotus root. Nothing particularly special about what they offered or were they outstanding. After a while, all the fried breading got to us. I can't do this as much as I can kushiyaki.

I needed another drink and ended up with their double matcha highball. Double because it came with a scoop of matcha ice cream which you were supposed to mix in before drinking. This was a lot more potent that the one from Hakata Yakitori Batten Yokatoh.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Menya Kokoro, Plaza Singapura

Hmph. I was pretty sure that I had passed by this branch of Menya Kokoro (#B2-53 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road) not too long back and noticed that they have curry mazesoba on the menu. That's what we wanted to come for but it's apparently not available. So I ended up with their nikuyama beef mazesoba. The sliced beef was marginally better than those in the local Yoshinoya.  Disappointing. They were also a little sweet so I didn't enjoy it. While the mazesoba wasn't bad in any sense, I thought it lacked depth compared with their spicy bowl.  

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Pork knuckles from Marché

Can't say that I know where I could find the better fried pork knuckles around but I thought that Marché has generally done a pretty good job of being dependable with them. I wouldn't say that it's good all the time, but I think they're very decent most of the time. Nice meaty trotters and crispy skin. Is it just me or am I tasting more beer in the sauce these days?

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Summer Hill, Sunset Way

Summer Hill, Sunset Way

Summer Hill is a French restaurant nestled in Sunset Way (#01-62, 106 Clementi Street 12, tel : +65 +65 62515337) by Anthony Yeoh from the defunct Cocotte. Yes, that Cocotte.

Summer Hill, glazed beetroot ricotta

They have small plates and regular ones. This glazed beetroot with ricotta was one of the small ones. I believe it's been marinated with possibly the juice of some fruit. Loads of perky citrus paired with a light earthiness of the beets and richness from the ricotta. I loved this. Very nice.

Summer Hill, baby eggplants

We had some roasted baby eggplants with hummus, crispy chickpeas and some pretty plump raisins. Not bad.

Summer Hill, chicken pot pie

Their mains included chicken pot pie with truffle and foie gras. The pot pie was a lot smaller than it looked. Only half the pot beneath the crust was filled. It was creamy and delicious though.

Summer Hill, dutch veal

Also had the fried boned in Dutch veal with a panko and thyme crust. The meat was very tender. Would have preferred a fruity sauce to go with it but I guess whole grain mustard was also fine. I didn't dislike this but I wouldn't order it again because it was expensive. For that price I was also hoping for a showcase of a spectacular sauce/compote to go with the veal than just mustard.

Summer Hill, olive oil cake

Dessert was an olive oil cake flavoured with citrus and rosemary. Not bad. Rather small though. Nice with the cream.

Summer Hill, Sunset Way

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Kurobuta X Kombu & Oroshi from Tonkatsu by Ma Maison

Tonkatsu by Ma Maison, Kurobuta X Kombu & Oroshi teishoku

I had gotten the impression that the kombu component to this kurobuta rosu katsu at Tonkatsu by Ma Maison was some sort of shredded cabbage salad with the seaweed. Apparently not. It was dry and fine with texture somewhat similar to dragon beard candy (龙须糖) if you could believe it. Yep, that green stuff above the katsu was it. Underneath the pile of it was the oroshi

Tonkatsu by Ma Maison, Kurobuta X Kombu & Oroshi

I've never had kombu in this form. Couldn't get much flavour of them. All the moisture from the oroshi had clumped the kombu together making it a little messy to eat. Didn't taste bad with the dashi/yuzu-y dip they provided though.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Hamburg Steak Keisuke, Peck Seah Street

Hamburg Steak Keisuke, Peck Seah Street

Finally visited Hamburg Steak Keisuke (72 Peck Seah Street, tel : +65 6908 4348) after attempting to wait out till the queue has subsided. It didn't quite. If the name was not already obvious enough, the selling point of the restaurant is their hamburg steak - or hambagu (ハンバーグ). 

Hamburg Steak Keisuke, sarada

There's a salad bar. It's not Astons but there was still a decent variety. I recommend the crabby flavoured mayonnaise hijiki, potato salad and the noodles. 

Hamburg Steak Keisuke, tamago gohan

The other attraction was their egg station. One can load up on unlimited serving of eggs cooked in various ways. Their scrambled eggs were deliciously buttery. Tamagoyaki was passable. They do sunny side up as well which was awesome when it's laid over rice with a splash of shoyu and some pepper. I know because I had two of those sunny side ups.

Hamburg Steak Keisuke, triple cheese hamburg

This was their triple cheese hamburg. Came with an ebi fry.

Hamburg Steak Keisuke, triple cheese hamburg

The mince of the hamburg was too fine. There wasn't much texture apart from the caramelized crust. Which was my first problem with it. The second was the marinate which was sweet. To add on, I'm not getting much beefiness from the hamburg. 

The cheese helped mask the sweetness but it didn't change the fact that it was sweet. 

Hamburg Steak Keisuke, coffee jelly

There's coffee jelly at the salad bar. The jelly was bitter and unsweetened. Which paired nicely with the sweet cream you could ladle over them. Yums!

Hamburg Steak Keisuke, Peck Seah Street

Liked the place. For the quality of food and the price they charged, it represented good value for money. The irony was that I didn't like the hamburg but enjoyed the rest. I spied a shiokoji chicken on the menu. Will come back to try that. And also for the salad bar, egg station and coffee jelly.

Hamburg Steak Keisuke, Peck Seah Street