Friday, June 30, 2023

Haidilao (海底捞)

Haidilao (海底捞 )

So we've finally tried Haidilao. Visited the branches at Plaza Singapura (#04-01 20 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road, tel : +65 6250 0330) and 313 Somerset (#04 -23/24 313@Somerset, 313 Orchard Road, tel : +65 6835 7227) in the past month. 

Let's start with the broths. Mala milk was good drinking, both fish and collagen broths great as a neutral base for cooking and the tomato broth on thickness overdrive was nice. Curry's okay but it's kinda thin like those from instant noodles.

Haidilao (海底捞 ), porridge

I like the century egg porridge at the condiments bar. One can basically zhng their concoction with what's available.

Haidilao (海底捞 ), bean curd strips

There's a variety of munchies to keep mouths busy before the broth and food arrives - which didn't take very long actually.

Yeah but we still loaded up on those munchies which appear to have different varieties at different Haidilao branches.

Haidilao (海底捞 ), sauces

The options for the concoct yourself sauces were minimally on par with all of the other hot pot experiences we've had. In fact, there seems to be more condiments here.

Haidilao (海底捞 ), weissbier

Between their own branded brews, Haidilao's weissbeir was our favourite. There's only one other which is a lager. Just don't expect Hoegaarden/Kronenbourg Blanc.

Haidilao (海底捞), bean curd roll seaweed

The hot pot ingredients on the whole were pretty good quality. One can easily appreciate their appeal based on the food that's also paired with a well thought out service which their wait staff are often ready to respond to.

Haidilao (海底捞), beef balls

Tried some beef balls. They were large and denser than I had imagined. Pretty beefy. Not bad tasting.

Haidilao (海底捞), beef

Sliced beef for the hot pot were pretty decent but we haven't tried their expensive cuts yet.

The shabu sliced pork like what I surmised was likely the best meat for dips because of the neutral flavour.

Half portion of cod was four slices so I'm assuming that the full portion is 8. Kinda pricey but this tasted pretty good.

Frozen tofu (冻豆腐) was a pretty smooth sponge. 

Haidilao (海底捞), pork jowl bean curd

Too much hot pot food so I'm just gonna stop here.

Found guava at the branch at 313. These weren't the hard ones. Nice.

Haidilao (海底捞 ), tau huay sesame sauce

Dessert hack : tau huay and the sesame sauce from the condiments bar together is delicious.

Haidilao (海底捞 )

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Revisiting Hainan Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee (海南福建炒蝦麵)

Hainan Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee (海南福建炒蝦麵), golden mile food centre

I don't think the stall does the $4 plate anymore. Still haven't changed my mind about the $5 plate being a little small. While people tend to compare them with YouFu, I'm not going to because they're not the same and both fry up their own renditions of competent plates of Hokkien mee

Hainan Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee (海南福建炒蝦麵), golden mile food centre

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Shi Nian (石年), Amoy Street Food Centre

Shi Nian (石年), pork trotter rice prawn cakes

Decent tasting pork trotter rice with flavourful braising sauce and a chilli sauce with a kick to pair with from Shi Nian (#01-49 Amoy Street Food Centre, 7 Maxwell Road). Prawn cake on the side was not bad tasting too. What bothered me were the trotters. A good 60-70% of it were bones. Portions of the food were kinda small and I needed to snack after. For $10.80? Don't think I'll come back since options are aplenty at Amoy Street Food Centre.

Shi Nian (石年), Amoy Street Food Centre

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Cinnabon, Raffles City

CinnaBon, Raffles City

There is no culture for cinnamon rolls here. Just like there isn't any for donuts. But Cinnabon (B1-60 Raffles City, 252 North Bridge Road) draws a crowd which has likely coalesced from folks who've had it, liked them and wanted some of it (like me). Though I do suspect it's also formed largely in part from a generation of people who's never had them and in another part, people who join queues because they are there. Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd.

CinnaBon, Raffles City

We've bought them a couple of time since they've open. Prior to that, it was a very long time back since we've last had it. I like myself a cinnamon roll now and then but cravings are far and few in between. Now we also know that there's no cinnamon in the Chocobons and the originals are the better tasting ones. Note to self : their espresso is really bitter. Not necessarily a good thing.

CinnaBon, Raffles City

Monday, June 26, 2023

Quentin's, Ceylon Road

Quentin's, Ceylon Road

Eurasian food - how interesting! I can't say I know much about them but today's always a good time to start finding out more. Quentin's (Level 1 Eurasian Heritage Gallery, 139 Ceylon Road, tel : +65 9008 3802) it seems is the only Eurasian restaurant we have. Food's a mixed bag of influences. While I understand that they're derived in part from Portuguese cooking, I also recognized elements from Indian, Malay and Peranakan cuisine.

Quentin's, Ceylon Road

The restaurant even have their own embroidered napkins. That's identity right there. No?

Quentin's, fish keropok sambal

We were served fish keropok with sambal. Top one was a spicy and bitter belachan and the bottom one tasted like it was made with dried tomatoes.

Quentin's, apple cucumber juice

We had the most cucumber-y tasting apple & cucumber juice. Just to be clear, the juice didn't just taste of cucumber - we've just never had a juice with cucumber that had so much cucumber taste. Very refreshing with the apple and well chilled when it was served. This was just the drink we never knew we wanted as a respite from the weather.

Quentin's, feng

One of the dishes we were curious about was their Feng - a stew made with diced pork, pig's livers and heart. Something an old friend affectionately refers to as curry feng. Nice. There was a recognizeable offal-y flavour to it, present but not excessive, along with vinegar. Like many dishes, everyone has their take on it. This reminded me a little bit of adobo. Definitely made for pairing with rice. Just like....

Quentin's, prawn bostador

...their prawns bostador. Chunky prawns in a creamy lemak coconut laden gravy topped with shavings of toasted coconut. Flavour profile couldn't escape the association with the local laksa or sayur lodeh. Delicious this one.

Quentin's, turmeric cabbage

The vegetable dish was their turmeric cabbage - something not dissimilar to the Indian cabbage poriyal. Turmeric, mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chillies.

Quentin's, rice

Gotta have rice.

Quentin's, sugee cake

Dessert was sugee cake. The layer in the middle beneath the lemon flavoured icing tasted like marzipan. The cake itself was a little salty which paired pretty well with the sweet toppings.

Quentin's, coffee

Pretty decent coffee.

Quentin's, Ceylon Road
Quentin's, Ceylon Road

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Finally a bowl without ketchup from Ah Ter

Ah Ter Teochew Fishball Noodles, no ketchup

This was the $8 mee pok with chilli from Ah Ter. Finally remembered to get them to omit the ketchup today. Normally ketchup wouldn't have been a problem since the default for most noodles with chilli (辣) usually doesn't come with them. But Ah Ter's does. One can also see the parallels between them and Hock Lai Seng

The way they handled the spring onions I had gotten for my bowl today was also amusingly lackadaisical.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Shahi Maharani North Indian Restaurant, Raffles City

Shahi Maharani North Indian Restaurant, Raffles City

Shahi Maharani North Indian Restaurant (#03–21B Raffles City, 252 North Bridge Road, tel : +65 6235 8840) has been around for more than a couple of decades. I remember wanting to visit them years ago but they've somehow fallen in the cracks of my attention over the years. Anyways, we're here now.

Shahi Maharani North Indian Restaurant, Raffles City

Decor's kind of old school along with the furnishing. Might have spelled prestige or luxury in another time. Today, it's a reminder of that.

Shahi Maharani North Indian Restaurant, papadums and pickles

Papadums and pickles. Notice that the dip doesn't have yoghurt. It's too coriander-y for me.

Shahi Maharani North Indian Restaurant, papdi chaat

Munched on papdi chaat while waiting for the food. Papdi, sev, chickpeas, chunks of boiled potatoes, yoghurt, tamarind sauce, mint chutney...a riot of flavours and textures that made the chaat. Enjoyed it but that didn't stop me from wishing for a bit more generosity with the yoghurt.

Shahi Maharani North Indian Restaurant, papdi chaat

A papdi is a cracker - one which the menu described as Indian nachos. Here's an Indian nacho worth of chaat on a spoon.

Shahi Maharani North Indian Restaurant, barramundi sarson ka machhili tikka

First to be served was the sarson ka machhli tikka - tandoor baked barramundi with a spice rub. Meat was was firm and flaky. Not bad. The fish packed more heat than we expected.

Shahi Maharani North Indian Restaurant, palak paneer

Their palak paneer appeared to be a class of their own. Nicely done with the taste of the spinach intact, seasoning noticeable and those chunks of tender cottage cheese. While here are myriads of variation to the recipe, I thought this was a good rendition.

Shahi Maharani North Indian Restaurant, prawn korma

We also had a prawn korma - a korma unlike most korma we've had. The texture was more akin to dal than the creamy velvet generally associated with them. For the first time as far as I could tell, I could definitively taste cashews in there. Along with cardamom and a host of other spices which I stopped bothering to identify after the cardamom. 😂 Prawns were meaty, split and deveined into what Chinese cooking calls 虾球.  Delicious and not as heavy a curry as it looked.

Shahi Maharani North Indian Restaurant, kashmiri naan

For a large part, I've lamented over Kashmiri naans having Maraschino cherries and little else to go on with. The majority of them don't have nuts - or at least enough to be identified as nuts. Most don't even have much real dried fruit other than the cherries. This one had mostly crushed nuts mashed with Maraschino cherries slathered across the bread. Nice. 👍🏼

Shahi Maharani North Indian Restaurant, butter naan

That's a piece of butter naan from the same basket as Kashmiri ones. Noticed that they were shaped like pizzas.

No room for dessert today. Hope to make it back here another time.

Shahi Maharani North Indian Restaurant, Raffles City

Friday, June 23, 2023

TWG, Takashimaya

TWG, dulcet rose

We've been to TWG a number of times over the past couple years-ish; sometimes for food but mostly it's as a pit stop for a drink and we inevitably end up getting munchies. Which are okay but not great. What's compelling for me at least is their Dulcet Rose which I've realized that I have almost never deviated from and also their tea jelly which is complimentary if you get their munchies. 

Note to self : the Dulcet Rose at Takashimaya (Level 2, 391 Orchard Road) seems a little diluted compared to the one at MBS which we usually go to.  

TWG, madeleines

We tried some of their Earl Grey madeleines today. Can't really taste the Earl Grey. Wouldn't get them again.

TWG, scone banana muffin

Banana muffin was...nothing to write home about as well. Too bad about that. But these stuff aren't the reasons why we're here. It's the Dulcet Rose.

TWG, Takashimaya