Friday, May 31, 2024

Back at Tokyo Soba

Tokyo Soba, Icon Village

Has been a while since the last time at Tokyo Soba (, , , , ). Today's experience was totally off, triggered by numerous little things that gnawed at me.

Tokyo Soba, gyu suki soba natto tsutsumi age

The quantity of the sliced beef was kinda measly for $20. But otherwise this was a pretty nice bowl.

Tokyo Soba, tonkatsu

Tonkatsu was okay tasting as long as one did not compare with the specialist tonkatsu shops. The pork was flavoured lightly with pepper. Meat was lean and a little dry. Easily remedied with the tonkatsu sauce.

Tokyo Soba, kaisen kakiage

Trying their kaisen kakiage for the first time. I liked it more than I thought I would. Seafood was pleasant, the onion was sweet and the fried batter wasn't bad tasting.

Tokyo Soba, kaisen kakiage

While I enjoyed the kakiage, I also thought it was a little too greasy.

What gnawed at me over this visit?
1) Default payment via mobile. This wasn't a thing for them in the past. Personally, I don't like being forced into it.  
2) The self order workflow had an additional step - some inconspicuous button that was required to be pressed for the order to be submitted after we had submitted the order. We did not realize that and waited for a long time before the shop informed us that our orders did not go through.
3) No freaking way to go back to the order list at the payment page. Good luck here if you had crafted long orders previously because we tried to remember it for 4).
4) We tried to order from a human and the human struggled to work their system to take orders. This step failed. We ended up back with the mobile ordering and mobile payment.
5) The wait was over 25 minutes for a half empty shop after the order had gone through.
6) Food was left on the collection counter for a considerable period. The hot food was cooling and the cold food was warming up. What the fuck is this shit?
7) Orders were incorrectly fulfilled. We never understood how can we were given hot nasu soba when the menu only has cold nasu soba?

Tim Ho Wan (添好運), Great World

Tim Ho Wan (添好運), Great World

Haven't had Tim Ho Wan (#01-139 Great World, 1 Kim Seng Promenade, tel : +65 6483 2000) in a while. I remember they were pretty decent in the past and there was a point where the standards kinda dipped. Gotta say that we were pretty pleased with what we had gotten today.

Tim Ho Wan (添好運), siew mai

Tim Ho Wan (添好運), har gow

Tim Ho Wan (添好運), bbq pork baked buns

Tim Ho Wan (添好運), pan fried radish cake

Tim Ho Wan (添好運), spinach dumpings with shrimp

Tim Ho Wan (添好運), yang zhou fried rice

As fried rice went, their Yang Zhou fried rice passed muster. While the plate was not downright impressive, it was better than many and I guess it checked the boxes of what I thought made Yang Zhou fried rice. Like real prawns, real char siew and how the texture/flavour turned out. I could eat this again.

Tim Ho Wan (添好運), steamed chicken cordyceps mushroom rice

Edible steamed chicken and cordyceps on rice. What surprised me a little though was that the quality of the steamed rice wasn't even that of what we've had at Victor's Kitchen.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Lemonade espresso from Gyutan-Tan

Gyutan-Tan, lemonade espresso

We stopped at Gyutan-Tan (B2-32 Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road, tel : +65 8321 3359) for a drink. Got myself a lemonade espresso. Nice one. Citrus-y sweet lemonade in decent coffee with fizz and ice.

Gyutan-Tan, lemonade espresso

Mt. Cheese King from Ramen Nagi

Ramen Nagi, Mt. Cheese King

Current limited king at Ramen Nagi - the Mt. Cheese King. It looked disappointing. #disappointed

Ramen Nagi, Mt. Cheese King

Because this picture was what got me sold. It's a lot less cheese and I did not expect the base to be the same pesto one as their Green King. My mind was prepared for tonkotsu and powdered cheese. A lot of powdered cheese. And I was definitely not looking forward to pesto in it as well.

Ramen Nagi, Mt. Cheese King

This bowl was basically their Green King with a bit more powdered cheese and some toasted pine nuts. Cheese wasn't a dominant flavour in this bowl. I felt lied to but I have only myself to blame for thinking that Ramen Nagi would deliver. They haven't for tonkotsu ramen for a while. Chains like Keisuke and Ippudo have better tasting tonkotsu broth. It's time I had that etched in my brain.

Ramen Nagi, cheese gyoza

There's cheese gyoza. These were a nicer eat. The crispy skirt tasted like the cheese flavoured version of the usual thing.

Ramen Nagi, cheese gyoza

The actual gyoza were disturbingly small with mashy fillings which I had difficulty identifying. The shape and size of the gyozas brought up images of silkworm pupa.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Wen Kang Ji (文康記), Food Republic @ Wisma Atria

Wen Kang Ji (文康記), Food Republic @ Wisma Atria

So this is where Wen Kang Ji has disappeared to (Food Republic Stall 9, Wisma Atria Level 4, 435 Orchard Road). I finally got to try their char siew rice which I've noticed from the menu of their old stall at Joo Chiat.

Wen Kang Ji (文康記), char siew rice

I liked it. Rice wasn't dry and grainy. Their char siew and sui gao were delicious as I remembered them. What made this plate different from regular char siew rice was a lardy sauce on the side which was the same concoction they use to sauce their wanton mee. The usual order comes with wanton but they were out of wanton today and offered one sui gao. Had to top up a dollar for the second one.

Wen Kang Ji (文康記), Food Republic @ Wisma Atria

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Cakes from Sinpopo


Cakes and tea at Sinpopo.

Sinpopo, mao shan wang cake

Mao shan wang cake was not bad. Hard pressed to identify anything that might not have been durian in the durian paste layered in the cake. No artificial sweetness from it too. Nice.

Sinpopo, mango cake

Mango cake's decent. If I had to comment, it looked a little better than it tasted.

Sinpopo, pulut hitam cake

I didn't think their pulut hitam cake was bad but it's also one of those that I won't be getting again now that I've tried it. Flavour came through but it's not edging anyway close to being impressive.

Sinpopo, teh tarik

Teh tarik's passable. Does not taste like real teh tarik unfortunately. Holding back on the sweetness was probably one of the reasons for that. Like their kopi, it's a name they slapped onto their beverage with little substantiate that name.

Sinpopo, tangs

Gagahoho Ox Bone Soup, Burlington Square

Gagahoho Ox Bone Soup, Burlington Square

Got wind of Gagahoho Ox Bone Soup (#01-57A Burlington Square, 175 Bencoolen Street, tel : +65 6518 4157) recently. Noticed that the sign at their restaurant says Gagahoho Ox Tail Soup. There's no ox tail soup on their menu.

Gagahoho Ox Bone Soup, kimchi

One of the talked about things from them is their kimchi. Pretty young without any flavour from fermentation I could detect. The paste was nutty with a hint of ginger and pretty spicy. Possibly the most spicy one I've ever had.  

Gagahoho Ox Bone Soup, kimchi rice

My inclination is towards kimchi that's more fermented. I enjoy the tang. This was interesting but not something I'll see myself craving for. 

Gagahoho Ox Bone Soup, gamjatang

Peppery gamjatang they have. Also ordinary.

Gagahoho Ox Bone Soup

Sliced pork from the gamjatang was pretty good with the kimchi.

Gagahoho Ox Bone Soup, mackerel kimchi stew

This was called mackerel pick and braised kimchi. Don't know what the name means but I reckon it's a jjigae -  similar to the one we've previously had at 88 Pocha. Like that one, the fish tasted like canned sardines. Like that one as well, pretty pricey for the portions. But I am a sucker for these because of the pairing of the sardine-y flavour with a more intense kimchi taste.

Gagahoho Ox Bone Soup
Gagahoho Ox Bone Soup, Burlington Square

Monday, May 27, 2024

Suju in May

Suju Masayuki, Takashimaya

Inadvertently, we found ourselves back at Suju ( 十一十二十三十四十五十六十七十八十九二十). The dishes on their menu appears to rotate these days. Not a bad thing that.

Suju Masayuki, uni crostini

We've been wanting to try their uni crostini since we first noticed it at this branch. It's aosa tempura topped with uni and there's caviar (don't know what kind) and shaved miso foie gras.

Suju Masayuki, uni crostini

Couldn't taste the caviar and miso foie gras. But the uni and fried seaweed was nice. Beware, not cheap!

Suju Masayuki, corn tempura

Sweet corn tempura.

Suju Masayuki, herring himono

Never noticed that they had grilled herring before. This was much better than I imagined. The fish was good quality and the meat was moist.

Suju Masayuki, herring himono

The bonus was the fish roe that was in the pregnant herring.

Suju Masayuki, herring himono

What's that you say? Fish roe!

Suju Masayuki, herring himono

Fish bloody roe! Look at the amount in one fish. And hell yeah it was delicious! 👍🏼

Suju Masayuki, pork chop hoba yaki

Pork chop hoba yaki. Miso marinated and baked in banana leaf with leeks and shiitake. Nice miso flavour in the relatively tender slices of pork but it's unfortunately not memorable compared to most of the other things we've had here.

Suju Masayuki, hayashi rice

Today's hayashi rice was nicer than I remembered it. There was a luxuriant creaminess to the sauce of red wine that accompanied an appreciable balance of sweet savoury tanginess. And thinly sliced beef. So good.

Suju Masayuki, matcha tiramisu

The matcha tiramisu's back after disappearing for a while.

Suju Masayuki, Takashimaya

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Keisuke Plus, Funan

Keisuke Plus, Funan

Keisuke Plus, or is that K+ (#01-15 Funan, 107 North Bridge Road, tel : +65 6320 3456) is the new offshoot from the Keisuke Group, themed as a ramen/gyoza/sake bar and restaurant kind of eatery. The menu sports a selection of ramen that isn't available in any of their other shops. 

Keisuke Plus, Funan

Place looks a little more fancy than their usual ramen joints. The tradition of free hard boiled eggs and bean sprouts is continued here.

Keisuke Plus, wagyu gyoza

One of the things Keisuke Plus appears to be doing is showcasing what they can do with wagyu. Which isn't a new thing or uncommon in this era. We had an order of their wagyu gyoza.

Keisuke Plus, wagyu gyoza

It's delicious. Beefy gyoza kind of delicious, seeping with flavourful oils. This blows the more expensive ones from Mashi No Mashi out of the water just by the virtue that we could tell that it was beef.

Keisuke Plus, wagyu mazesoba

This - their wagyu mazesoba.

Keisuke Plus, wagyu mazesoba

Nice. There's a mixture of flavours from the ingredients which somehow did not overwhelm the intrinsic flavour from the meat. I'm reminded of a beefy bak chor mee.

Keisuke Plus, wagyu mazesoba

Mazesoba was also good with the hot sauce they bring to you for it. This one was not that spicy.

Keisuke Plus, hiroshima oyster broth ramen

The bowl that hit like a punch from Saitama was their Hokkaido oyster broth ramen.👊🏻 Umami, creamy and intensely flavoured with the shellfish. Good on its own and also good with the squeeze of lemon. I recommend some before the lemon and some after. From the point of flavour intensity as an oyster based broth, this was ahead of the oyster paitan bowl from Konjiki Hototogisu

Keisuke Plus, lemosco

Even with splashes of the Lemosco, it was good eating. If anyone was wondering,  that's a lemony/yuzu-y sauce with a bit of heat - like a lemon Tabasco.

Keisuke Plus, atsugiri ham cutlet

We also came across one of the better if not best hamu katsu in town. Thick with a proper panko crust. This was so much better than the one at Hakata Yakitori Batten Yokatoh.

Keisuke Plus, Funan