Sunday, October 31, 2021

Happy Lamb Hotpot (快乐小羊), Pacific Plaza

Happy Lamb Hotpot (快乐小羊), Pacific Plaza

We were intrigued by Happy Lamb Hotpot (#02-10 Pacific Plaza, 9 Scotts Road, tel : +65 9030 6897) because lamb hotpot. A few of these have sprung up in recent years so we thought it was time we gave them a try since we've previously been lamenting over the lack of them. This restaurant is from Inner Mongolia - a region lauded as Lamb Gourmet Capital of China. Sounded interesting to try something from that part of the world.

From what I gathered, lamb served here are either from Mongolia or Scotland. Couldn't tell which were from where though but the quality of ingredients we had were good. Dips aren't available by default and were chargeable.

Happy Lamb Hotpot (快乐小羊), lamb shoulder

We kept the focus on lamb, picked a few cuts to try and tried to keep the list of the other hotpot ingredients short. The above was an order of lamb shoulder (羔羊前腿条) - a lean but tender cut of meat.

Happy Lamb Hotpot (快乐小羊), melaleuca rib

The other cut we tried was Melaleuca Rib (千层肋腹). More flavour than the shoulder because there were more fat.

Happy Lamb Hotpot (快乐小羊), happy lamb

There was platter of Happy Spring Lamb (快乐羔羊卷) on the menu. Don't know which part it was but the fat lacing and thin slices made it great for the hotpot.

Happy Lamb Hotpot (快乐小羊), lamb balls

Their mutton balls (羊肉丸) were pretty good and packed with the lamb-y flavours.

Happy Lamb Hotpot (快乐小羊), assorted bean curd

We had a tray of assorted bean curd (营养豆腐拼). Liked these. The frozen tofu (冻豆腐) was amazing because it soaked up an incredible amount of broth from the hotpot.

Happy Lamb Hotpot (快乐小羊), prawn paste tobiko

Pretty good quality prawn paste with tobiko (手工蟹籽虾滑).

Happy Lamb Hotpot (快乐小羊), king oyster mushrooms

King oyster mushrooms (杏鲍菇).

Happy Lamb Hotpot (快乐小羊), radish

Some daikon (白萝卜) to soak up the broth.

Happy Lamb Hotpot (快乐小羊), broth

We picked two broths. The one on the right was the Nourishing Marrow Chicken Broth (滋补清汤锅) which tasted herbal and clean. What's left (pun intended) was a Spicy Sour Pickled Cabbage Broth (金汤酸辣锅) which was sour with a bit of heat and Szechuan peppercorn flavour going on.

Happy Lamb Hotpot (快乐小羊), grilled spicy lamb skewers

Damn these spicy lamb skewers (羊肉串) were so good. I would come back just for these.

Happy Lamb Hotpot (快乐小羊), lamb dumplings

Lamb dumplings (羊肉水饺) weren't as impressive because the meat was marinated to the point that I couldn't tell. The vinegar with garlic dip that came with it was good for the lamb shoulder though.

Happy Lamb Hotpot (快乐小羊), mongolian yoghurt

We were told by the staff that the Mongolian yoghurt (蒙古酸奶) was good and that she had one daily. I liked it. Don't get the sweet one because the original one already had an almost citrus like sweetness that reminded me of Yakult. I gotta come back for this again.

Happy Lamb Hotpot (快乐小羊), Pacific Plaza

Saturday, October 30, 2021

BurgerLabo, Malan Road

BurgerLabo, Malan Road

This is the restaurant formerly known as Nekkid and was also formerly Naked Finn (which has since relocated to a short distance across the road). It's BurgerLabo (41 Malan Road, tel : +65 6694 0940) today - a culmination of the burger forays which has started at Naked Finn years back

BurgerLabo, double beef

That's their basic burger with double patties. What the menu describes is...

"Blend of 100% grass-fed Aberdeen Angus (Argentina) & Kuroge Washu from Toriyama Umami Wagyu (Japan) A4 patty, grilled a la plancha. Topped with red onions pickled in IPA, American cheese, wagyu fats and house-made shio kombu mayonnaise-based sauce. Sandwiched in a toasted bun baked specially for us by Bakery Brera. Served with shoestring truffle fries topped with grated Parmesan cheese."

Sounds impressive? I thought so. But they've always been quite good at marketing what they sold. Pretty good tasting patty with a coarse mince of meat described in the menu I'm assuming. It's hefty and stout. It has presence. I liked the nice browning of the crust. What slipped here was the light hand with the salt. Just thought it would be nicer with more salt. With the mayo/onions, this burger tasted like the grand father of Big Mac. Seriously. The flavour profile as a whole was similar. So the outcome of all the r&d was an atas Big Mac.

BurgerLabo, double cod + aji

This is their atas Filet O Fish. Deep fried cod burger. What the menu describes is...

"Deep-fried breaded line-caught blue cod (Parapersis colias) fillet from New Zealand. Topped with American cheese and shio kombu mayonnaise with smashed avocado and chopped pickles. Sandwiched in a warm toasted bun baked specially for us by Bakery Brera. Served with shoestring truffle fries topped with grated Parmesan cheese."

You could double the fried cod or add an aji fry for a bit more intensity to the fish flavour. We did both. To be fair, this was a step up from just an atas Filet O Fish because the aji added depth to the sandwich. Not just physical depth but also the flavour. That shio kombu mayo + avocado and pickles was basically BurgerLabo's spin on Japanese tartare sauce. Presumably the avocado takes the place of the eggs. Tasted like tartare sauce with dill and avocados. Not bad. Had that tangy smooth richness which paired nicely with the delicately flavoured fried cod.

BurgerLabo, madagascar vanilla shake

BurgerLabo has milkshake. Only three flavours - yes that three. This was the Madagascan vanilla. It's creamy and not very thick so it's easy to drink with the straw. Flavour was a pretty intense vanilla. Nice.

BurgerLabo, Malan Road

Friday, October 29, 2021

A Bun Dance

Abundance, ondeh ondeh porter

Here's revisiting Abundance. Starting with a glass of craft beer on tap - the Ondeh Ondeh Porter from Sunbird Brewing Company which was a pleasant surprise. Why? The caramel malty sweetness with the coconut-y taste pretty much delivered the ondeh ondeh promise. I couldn't tell when the malt ended the gula melaka began.

Today's fizzy lemon tea also had more fizz. 👍🏼

Abundance, bacon cabbage

Intrigued by the bacon cabbage dish because it was cabbage stir fried in garlic, chilli oil and bacon. It's the same chilli oil/sauce/thingy they used for their red hot chilli dumplings/红油抄手. Bacon added smokiness. This was nicely done because the cabbage was properly cooked without rawness while maintaining a good crunch in their textures.

Abundance, prawn bao

There's a prawn bao. Only for this month according to them. Very competently done egg floss with curry leaves and chilli on top of the chunky prawn patty doused with salted egg sauce. I'm gonna stop at 'this was so good'.

Abundance, taiwanese beef noodles

Just to get it out of the way, I thought this beef noodle was better than the one at Din Tai Fung. The reason I started getting the beefless beef broth noodles there was because I had beef with the beef. Whew! 

Abundance, taiwanese beef noodles

The beef in this bowl was tender and readily yielded to even the toothless. The robust and glassy oxblood broth had a good intense flavour consisting of spices, a savoury depth and a bit of heat. Love the undulating smoothness of their broad noodles as well. Yes - it was better then Din Tai Fung in my opinion.

Abundance, mala popcorn chicken

Mala popcorn chicken was pretty decent munching. This was Taiwanese fried chicken in popcorn form with some mala powder. There's a nice bit of heat and aroma from the Szechuan peppers but it's doesn't exactly 麻 nor was it very 辣. I don't think it was meant to be.

Abundance, peanut ice cream roll

So there - the peanut ice cream roll that was suppose to pack coriander. The coriander couldn't make it and that was absolutely fine by me. Not bad tasting.

Abundance, Lengkok Bahru

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Rolina Traditional Hainanese Curry Puffs, Tanjong Pagar Food Centre

Rolina Traditional Hainanese Curry Puffs, Tanjong Pagar Food Centre

I've heard mention of Rolina (#02-15 Tanjong Pagar Food Centre, 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza) for years but had never gotten a chance to try the curry puffs that they're known for. Apparently, the name of the stall was a mispronunciation of Novena where they used to hawk their wares many years ago. Rolina has stuck as their name ever since. 

Managed to get a couple of their curry puffs recently. Liked the crisp pastry shell and robust tasting curry fillings but these puffs were kinda small. I like the one with potato fillings more than the one with sardines. That being said, I think I like them enough to want to get them occasionally if I'm in the area. Will likely not go out of they way for them because I didn't think it was that good for me.

Rolina Traditional Hainanese Curry Puffs, Tanjong Pagar Food Centre

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Soto ayam from Queenstown Lontong

Queenstown Lontong, soto ayam

Queenstown Lontong doesn't just do lontong. They've a bunch of other local favourites like nasi lemak, mee rebus and mee soto to name a few. This was their soto ayam which I got for breakfast. I lapped up the savoury chicken broth infused with the prickly heat from their chilli. Most of the mouthfuls were also accompanied by the flavour from the fried shallots that went in the bowl. Nice.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Burger House, Beauty World Food Centre

Burger House, Beauty World Food Centre

So I read about this guy who used to be the head chef at Omakase Burger whom has started a business of his own selling *Nyango Star drumroll*...burgers (#04-42 Beauty World Centre, 144 Upper Bukit Timah Road). I was curious and wanted to find out. 

It's similar but not the same. Omakase Burger had more vibrant looking lettuces, their potato bun which this doesn't and a cheesier cheese. One could see where this particular burger fell short.

To be fair, this was definitely not as expensive and they did a commendable job out of the beef patty. Again, not the exact same kind of flavour nor crustiness that Omakase Burger had but still a very respectable one that was reasonably beefy and dripping with juices in the wrapper between toasted buns. Not bad at all. I would have liked mine to have a bit more char though.

Burger House, Beauty World Food Centre

Monday, October 25, 2021

King of Fried Rice, Chinatown Food Street

King of Fried Rice, mala shrimp fried rice

Just as I had suspected, the mala fried rice from King of Fried Rice (Stall 11, 41 Smith Street) wasn't very spicy. They had to accomodate people who couldn't handle spice after all. There was a bit of heat that gave a light prickle but that was all there was to the 辣. Just don't expect any 麻 from it. Not much of fragrance coming from their mala spice mix either so the additional chilli helps if one is looking for a bit more flavour and heat. These guys are also really careful with the salt. So now I know.

King of Fried Rice, Chinatown Food Street

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Huber's Bistro-lling in October

Huber's Bistro, Dempsey

Here's another stop at Huber's Bistro - eating here usually means that there's something we're getting from the butchery/store. Which has been a number of times over the past few years (, , , , , , , , , , 十一, 十二). Food's not bad and generally a uncomplicated showcase of what one can buy from their butchery to make at home.

Because of the pandemic situation, the indoor seating has been noticeably reduced.

Huber's Bistro, hühnerragoutsuppe

The menu does get changed around a bit now and then. New items do pop up. Like this hühnerragoutsuppe which I cannot pronounce. It's a cream of chicken giblet soup. Not bad. I like the burst of livery flavours from the bits of liver

Huber's Bistro, truffle burger

We ordered a truffle burger from the menu which we've never seen on the breakfast menu before. Mostly because the menu mentioned blue cheese. It also mentioned carrot and orange marmalade which we did not expect to be in the burger. The only time one got to taste the flavour of the beef, a bit of the truffle and blue cheese was when you took a bite at the edges. Otherwise, it was mostly the citrus sweet from the orange marmalade. Strange one.

Huber's Bistro, chicken breast supreme cordon bleu

There's a chicken breast “Supreme” Cordon Bleu. If I had to guess, the "supreme" part of it was the almond crust which was pretty nice. Noticed that their butcher has almond crusted chicken and chicken Cordon Bleu but not almond crusted chicken Cordon Bleu. Moreish-ly savoury with the stuffed Gruyère and ham. The odd part about this was the single bone in the meat which came from a drumlet. I wonder how that connected with the rest of the meat. 

Huber's Bistro, coffee

They've rotated the previous cookies for their coffee out to something....with orange flavour. The previous ones that they use were nicer. It did taste like orange. I just didn't like these as much.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Fook Kin, Killiney Road

Fook Kin, Killiney Road

Been wanting to try Fook Kin (111 Killiney Road) for a while. The restaurant is a collaboration between Roast Paradise and a couple of local radio personalities. Because we thought well of Roast Paradise, we decided to give this outfit a try.

Fook Kin, char siew roast pork
Fook Kin, char siew roast pork

The first to be served were their roasts because they were already done and just needed slicing. Since they were done by the same people, the standards of their roasts were similar to the ones at Roast Paradise. Char siew was arrestingly superb with the fat layering and sweet caramelized surface. Roast pork/siu yoke was not bad as well.

Fook Kin, crab omelette cheese

They have a crab omelette on their menu. Read that it was inspired by Raan Jay Fai. While imitation was the sincerest form of flattery, it was nothing like the one at Raan Jay Fai. Not in appearances nor in taste and quality. Far from it. 

Fook Kin, crab omelette cheese

I added cheese. Quite a bit of the mozzarella pull going on and I liked the milky cheese. With that, I also realized that there was lot more cheese than crab in that omelette. Crab meat didn't taste very good. If that was the amount of crab and the quality we were getting for what they charged, these were more expensive than eating at the pricey Raan Jay Fai.

Fook Kin, triple happiness tofu

Ordered their triple happiness tofu. I'm not sure what forms that triple happiness but they were stingy with the ikura so I'm gonna minus off one happiness there. Liked the sauce with the rest of the toppings on the tofu but not gonna order them again if I come back.

Fook Kin, dragon fruit shrimp fried rice

Under the Classic Dishes section of the menu was their dragonfruit with shrimp fried rice. Don't know whose classics would a dragonfruit fried rice fall under. Rice was wet without aroma - nothing like what we generally know of fried rice. Didn't taste bad but there was nothing assertive about the flavour that would give it an identity. Except for the cashews. And also sweetness from the pork floss and raisins. 

Fook Kin, Killiney Road

Friday, October 22, 2021

Steamed curry chicken bao from Old Chang Kee

Old Chang Kee has a steamed curry bun shaped to look like their Curry'O at their "coffee house" along Tanjong Pagar Road (#01-36, 1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza). Apart from the steamed bun skin, they tasted pretty much the same as the one with the fried pastry skin. Now if only they were a third cheaper, I might consider getting them with some regularity.