Thursday, May 26, 2022

White asparaguses and brunch at Huber's

Huber's Bistro, schneider weiss

The white asparagus season is upon us for this year. Huber's (十一十二十三) has gotten theirs from Germany and expectedly put out a limited time menu on the ivory shoots said to be grown in darkness. We were here to brunch on them.

Huber's Bistro, iced dazzle berry macchiato
Huber's Bistro, iced dazzle berry macchiato

But first some Ice Dazzle Berry Macchiato. Coffee with the citrus of berries mellowed with cream. This was kinda nice.

Huber's Bistro, cream of white asparagus curry, strawberry onion compote

The unexpected surprise was their cream of white asparagus with curry and a strawberry & onion compote. Creamy and curry scented white asparagus-y soup accompanied by the tart sweetness from the spiced strawberry/onion. 👍🏼

Huber's Bistro, croissant cooked ham raclette cheese

Croissant with cooked ham and raclette cheese from their breakfast menu. Because we were here at the confluence of breakfast and the day menu. I liked this. For the buttery simplicity and the light pungent cheese.

Huber's Bistro, white asparagus boiled potatoes hollandaise swiss farmer raw ham

White asparagus with Hollandaise, buttered boiled potatoes and Swiss farmer ham.

Huber's Bistro, white asparagus boiled potatoes tasmanian grass feed beef fillet mushroom sauce

Same stuff with Tasmanian grass fed beef in mushroom cream sauce. 

Huber's Bistro, white asparagus mousse strawberry compote

White asparagus mousse with strawberry coulis for dessert. There was a lot of that white asparagus flavour in the mousse.

Huber's Bistro, coffee

No white asparagus in this coffee. Just a regular one.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

NBCB, Orchard Central

NBCB, Orchard Central

This spot was where Omakase Burger used to be. I had previously tried the cheese burger from NBCB (#04-23 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, tel : +65 8872 0160 ) when they started their business which was available on delivery only. I thought it wasn't bad tasting then even though the buns were thoroughly soggy. 

Now that we've had the chance to have them freshly made, it didn't seem to taste as good. It was a very juicy cb for sure 😂 but the patty seemed to lack flavour. There was also too much saucing which I'm interpreting that as an attempt to mask the blandness. Pretty disappointing. 

NBCB, double cheese burger

I'm gonna take this opportunity to compare them with a bunch of other burgers we've had in the recent couple of years which I think are alternatives. Just a couple of years or the list will get too long.
  • 2280 - Their double cheeseburger was less expensive and tasted better. Nicer tasting fries also.
  • Employees Only - The EO Smash Burger was obviously superior in every aspect. Reflected on their price tag as well which I would gladly rather pay actually. 
  • McD - Sad but true case, the factory mass produced Angus cheeseburger was a nicer eat. Cheaper and more enjoyable
  • Jollibee - Aloha burger was a different quality which has resulted in a different beast but I'd rather eat this too. Cheaper and more enjoyable.
  • Astons Specialities - Same price but I'd pick this over it because of the cleaner flavour.
  • Hammee's - Cheaper and definitely better tasting cheese burgers. 
  • One Fattened Calf - Not necessarily cheaper here but the meat quality was superior and I like them better. Nicer fries
  • Ordinary Burgers - Cheaper and much better tasting cheese burgers.
  • Phat Burger Bro. - Obviously better done burgers here and they're a bit more expensive as well. Nicer fries here as well.
  • Shake Shack - No way NBCB can beat Shake Shack's cheese burgers in terms of taste.
  • Omakase Burger - They are not around anymore, they aren't cheap but they're doubtlessly superior.
  • Five Guys - I definitely rather eat Five Guys who are just a little bit more expensive. The customization options blows NBCB out of the water.

NBCB, fries

Fries are okay. Tasted like those from Long John Silvers. Absorbs the cb juices well. 😅

NBCB, bandung milk shake

The bandung milkshake was kinda nice. Creamy, milky and just enough of the flavour from the rose syrup.

NBCB, Orchard Central

Ebi Bar, Cuppage Plaza

Ebi Bar, chao da prawn noodle

Heard about these guys (#B1-21 Cuppage Plaza, 5 Koek Road) and had gotten curious enough to come down and try their take on an upscale prawn noodles. Didn't like how they processed orders. It's a bad combination of a poorly designed digital menu on that one had to navigate on mobile and the need for email to even get an order done. 

I've read words like "rich" and "umami" from online publications about their broth. How did these people even get their jobs?

Ebi Bar, shrimp ball noodle

Broth was sweet and crustacean-y but it didn't taste rounded - not exactly a sweetness which I enjoyed. Rich and umami weren't words that came to mind. Didn't finish it. Didn't think much of the noodles also. I'd easily pick Da Shi Jia over a bowl here.

Those tiger prawns were meaty but otherwise not memorable. Preferred the prawn balls which were formed from chunky bits. Chicken charshu thingys were okay but I don't think these were a selling point.

Ebi Bar, achar jellyfish

Achar was not bad. I liked the nutty quality that they managed to get into the flavour. I prefer it more sour. Also too little jellyfish. Pretty sure they're trying to make this achar sound special with the name as well but it's not because there's too little jellyfish. 

Ebi Bar, ngoh hiang

Ngoh hiang was so so. That's just my opinion. It had a nice crisp skin but honestly, these can't beat the home made ones that I'm used to from Nonya grandmothers and mother-in-laws. Also, I'm not big on five spice powder.

Ebi Bar, shrimp dumpling mala sauce

These prawn dumplings were a little odd. There were openings on the surface. Like prawn stuffings clad in smooth ripped jeans. Not bad tasting as spicy prawn dumplings went. Those from Abundance were way better.

Ebi Bar, Cuppage Plaza

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

A jalapeño double cheeseburger from Burger Bar New York

Burger Bar New York, jalapeño double cheeseburger

Burger Bar New York was suggested for lunch today and I didn't mind another go at their burgers. Nothing was customized for this jalapeño double cheeseburger. I mentioned previously that I felt that their patty needed a bit more salt and that hasn't changed. To add on to those previous thoughts, I saw what I had today as a catchall burger. There's a bit of everything and you do taste a bit of everything. Other than the heat from the jalapeño, nothing in particular stood out because there was a lot of everything. Very juicy though.

Burger Bar New York, Amoy Street

Monday, May 23, 2022

Duotou clams season is back at Putien

Putien, duotou clams

The Duotou clams are back at Putien. They even have a cute mascot this time. Along with an update to the menu that included, IIRC, around 20 new dishes. From what we learnt from the restaurant, the clams are referred to as 哆头蛏 or just 蛏 (chēng).

Putien, braised homemade bean curd

This braised home made tofu was one of the new dishes. Liked the spongy texture with the bean flavour which has soaked even more flavour from the braising sauce.

Putien, stir fried kailan bean curd skin

Stir fried kailan and beancurd skin was from the old menu. Had this previously.

Putien, claypot chicken in fermented red rice wine

Another new dish on menu was claypot chicken in Chinese red wine lees (红糟). I'm a little surprised that a dish with these red wine lees haven't been available here earlier when places like Xing Hua have already done so. Anyways, this was pretty good. Chicken was tender in a delicious gravy that was superb pairing with rice. Those black stuff are wood ear fungus.

Putien, spicy stir fried duotou clams

One of the dishes from the current 蛏 season were said clams stir fried in dried chilli and garlic. Savoury and a bit spicy. I realized for the first time that these dried chillis can be eaten. Nice.

Putien, duotou clams omelette

More 蛏 in omelette and mushrooms which allowed the flavour of the clams to be showcased.

Putien, rice

Can't be doing all these flavourful dishes without rice.

Putien, duotou clams

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Bruno's Bistrot, Telok Kurau

Bruno's Bistrot, Telok Kurau

Bruno's Bistrot (201 Telok Kurau Rd, #01-06, tel : +65 6346 3970) was a mixed bag. They're part of Bruno's Pizzeria & Grill which has been around for at least a decade. Place looked kinda old school Italian (think Pete's Place). Not remarkable at a glance and definitely more homely than fancy. 

To layer on to their brand rustic charm, there's escargot and beef tartare on the menu which was neither common nor something one generally expects to find in an Italian restaurant. Right? Then again they're a bistrot so erm....French? Wait there's more. The bistrot actually serves an Italian brew on tap that's not Peroni.

Can't decide if this was a Marc Spector or Steven Grant. We did land ourselves some gems from their food though. 

Bruno's Bistrot, menabrea

But first, a #megapint of beer! 😂

Bruno's Bistrot, bread

Bread's was baguette. Not an outstanding one but serviceable when you're hungry and as a mop for sauces. Feels French but it came with olive oil and vinegar, not butter.

Bruno's Bistrot, tomato soup

Tomato soup's not bad. Piping hot and tomato-y. Not something that I order much of if at all but I didn't regret this. I'm just wondering if those thin drizzles of cream did anything at all for the soup.

Bruno's Bistrot, foie gras

The price of the foie gras was a little on the high side but we went with it anyway. When it arrived, we understood why they charged what they did. There's more of the foie than any single serving portion I've had.

Bruno's Bistrot, foie gras

Not bad at all with the bread and prune compote. 

Bruno's Bistrot, veal sweetbread morel sauce spaghetti

We came here for the riz de veau - veal sweetbread. This one was pan fried with onions and topped with a delicious morel cream sauce. Spaghetti on the side with shaven Parmigiano Reggiano? So good and I'm gonna just leave it at that. I haven't had sweetbreads in such generous portions since the salad at Brasserie Gavroche. Or perhaps the one at Bouchon too.

Bruno's Bistrot, beef tartare

Tartare de boeuf's tangy, sweet and just a tiny bit spicy. It's a little wetter than others we've had before but not a biggie. Still enjoyed it. Definitely French here. The fries however tasted like "Cajun fries" instead of just French fried potatoes. Hmmm... 

Bruno's Bistrot, tiramisu

Menu mentioned that their tiramisu was made with rum. I could taste the alcohol in it but couldn't tell what kind it was. Lady's fingers were a little dry and the mascarpone had more cream than cheese. Didn't taste bad but I wouldn't get it again.

Bruno's Bistrot, affogato

Affogato's decent. Not to nitpick here but I prefer them in coffee cups than martini glasses. Heh!

Bruno's Bistrot, Telok Kurau

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Dark Kamakura beer, burrata and katsuo soba at Healthy Soba IKI

Healthy Soba IKI, Kamakura beer

I've seen the selection of Kamakura beers at Healthy Soba IKI (十一十二十三十四十五) but haven't tried any of them until today when I got a bottle of a dark brew on their recommendation. A dryish moderated hoppy bitterness which kinda felt a like a balanced ale. Smooth drinking but nothing in particular stood out. 

Healthy Soba IKI, burrata kampot pepper

Burrata seemed to have made it as a pretty regular off menu item. We got the one with Kampot pepper this time. The flavour of the pepper was sharp and distinct paired with proper salting and a nutty fragrance from the toasted buckwheat on the milky cheese and fruity olive oil. Don't you already want this?

Healthy Soba IKI, katsuo bonito soba

The current seasonal/limited soba comes with slices katsuo - skipjack tuna. I read that they were the kings of the Japanese culinary world before the current reigning maguro, especially hon maguro. Meat's a bit fishier which I never found issue with for katsuo. The soba came with lime so the flavour profile was a citrus dashi kind of thing.

Healthy Soba IKI, avocado shirasu don

Not forgetting the trusty sidekick of shirasu avocado mini don.

Healthy Soba IKI, One Raffles Place

Friday, May 20, 2022

Texas Chicken, Star Vista

Texas Chicken, fried chicken honey butter biscuit

Felt like having fried chicken from Texas Chicken (B1-13 The Star Vista, 1 Vista Exchange Green) for some reasons so we ended up at this branch. I recall eating their fried chicken many years ago and having the impression that they were "nice" but what we had felt a little lacklustre today. It wasn't bad fried chicken in any way, just wasn't memorable...compared to those from say Jollibee. What I unexpectedly liked though were their tender honey butter biscuits. Light, sweet and savoury in a crispy package.

Jian Bo's chwee kueh at Toa Payoh

Jian Bo Shui Kueh, chwee kueh

First time trying Jian Bo's chwee kueh outside of their original stall at Tiong Bahru. This was from their shop along Food Alley at Toa Payoh (#01-514, 190 Lor 6 Toa Payoh) where Xi'an Famous Food and Kopifellas are located. I don't know how the food arrangement of branches work but this didn't taste like the ones from the main stall. Can't pinpoint specifics but they just didn't seem to be as nice.

Jian Bo Shui Kueh, Toa Payoh