Sunday, October 06, 2013

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Chicken rice is unofficially considered as the 'national dish' in Singapore. Tourists who visit Singapore will definitely try the dish. This year, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay came to Singapore and challenged one of the popular Hainanese chicken rice stall.

To me, chicken rice was also one of my favourite dishes. I always have cravings for Hainanese chicken rice whenever I am at overseas. Between roasted chicken and steamed chicken, I love the latter most. The steamed chicken can tell you how skillful the chef was. A stall that serves very tender and moist chicken breast meat will win my vote.

In my earlier post, Sin Swee Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice had my vote. The restaurant serves very tender and moist chicken. At the same time, it sells other cooked food like fried rice and noodles. You will have a variety of choices if you were sick of eating chicken rice.

At Sing Ho Hainan Chicken Rice, it was very similar to Sin Swee Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice. Sing Ho not only tells Hainanese chicken rice but also other cooked food. Though I am no food connoisseur, I can taste the difference between the two brands. My recommendation to Sing Ho is to concentrate its efforts on improving the chicken rice. Since the shop name and signage read Hainan Chicken Rice, it will be best that Sing Ho concentrate on what they do best and not venture on other dishes for the time being.

The total dining experience cost us $34.



Sambal Kangkong or sambal water spinach is generally a spicy and delicious dish. It was one of my favourite dishes too. When the vegetables were served, I was firstly surprised by the small portion. The sambal, which was made from dried shrimps, belacan (dried shrimp paste), chilli and other ingredients, was mild. The vegetables that were cooked very nicely was the only thing I could praise about this dish. (Food rating: 2/5)



We ordered a half portion of Steamed Hainanese Chicken. The chicken was nicely presented. However, the texture of the chicken was disappointing. The meat was tender but the texture was coarse. The sauce was sadly mild. In my personal view, I expected the steamed chicken to be at least tender and moist and the sauce has to compliment the chicken. Furthermore, the rice cooked in chicken stock was disappointing. I thought I ate white rice. The rice was not only plain but also a little soggy in texture. At Sing Ho, the quality of steamed chicken and rice were below Sin Swee Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice. As for the braised eggs, they were just normal eggs without taste. I cannot describe any further on the eggs. (Food rating: 2/5)



We also ordered dumpling soup. There were about 4-5 pieces of dumplings in the soup. The dumplings were normal. It lacked something and the soup was a little oily. (Food rating: 2/5)



For the pork chops, I could not figure out what I was eating. It looked like char siew (barbeque pork) and perhaps supposed to taste like kebab. Nevertheless, it was neither one of them. The pork chops were sweet. I did not know what I should expect from the chops. Perhaps you could enlighten me. (Food rating: 2/5)



Address: 270 Middle Rd, Singapore 188993
Price: $
Rating: 2/5
Stuffness Level (How full you are): 4/5
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Address: 9 Bishan Place, Junction 8 Shopping Centre, #02-34-35A, Singapore 579837
Price: $
Rating: 3/5

Kazokutei is one of Osaka's most famous brands of udon restaurants. Since it was established in 1947, the restaurant has more than 200 outlets in Japan. Its delicious and high quality handmade udon and the broth bring out the best natural taste of the noodles. 

At Junction 8 outlet, the restaurant is always busy and crowded. If you come during meal times, please be prepared to queue.  I waited at least 20mins before I got a table. The staff were busy but they tried their best to attend to you. 

Despite the long queue, the dining experience was great. The entire meal cost me $15. I think I will go back again for another meal. :D



I decided to go vegetarian this evening and ordered myself a tofu hamburger set. The set meal came with rice, udon noodles, sesame tofu, salad and tofu hamburger. When served, the tofu hamburger was piping hot. First, I started with the white Japanese rice. The rice was perfectly cooked and I loved the texture. It was chewy and I could see each rice grain in the bowl. Then I tried the salad. The mixed vegetables with oriental sauce was entirely refreshing. The fresh vegetable with the light oriental sauce somehow whetted my appetite. The tofu in sesame sauce was nice too.

Then I headed for the udon . I wanted to try how good it was and I was convinced that it was one of the best udon I have ever eaten. The broth was clear, light and sweet. As for the udon, it was chewy and tasted very delicious in the broth. The entire bowl of udon was so delicious that I wished I had more. 

I ended my dinner with the tofu hamburger and rice. It was a great choice if you intend to have something non-meat. Somehow, the tofu hamburger and rice was the grand finale. The french fries were equally fantastic. It was lightly salted and it was freshly deep fried.

Food rating: 3/5


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Address: 06 North Canal Rd (opp OCBC centre Chulia St)
Price: $
Rating: 3.5/5

URL - https://www.facebook.com/hocklambeef

If you are looking for beef noodles in the Circular Road vicinity, you may want to try Authentic Hock Lam Street Popular Beef Kway Teo. Compared to the ones at the food courts, I feel that it was one of the better ones. The beef kway teow can be found at the opposite of OCBC Bank building.

To avoid the lunch crowd, why not have dinner instead. You will have plenty of seats and can take your time to enjoy the hot beef kway teow soup. Kway Teow is a type of flat steamed rice noodles. It compliments the soup very well.



I always love Sliced Beef and Beef Balls Kway Teow soup in general. The fresh beef slices, sweet beef broth and the slippery flat steamed rice noodles are always a delight. When I ate the beef noodles soup, I felt the warmth in my body. The beef slices were very well cooked and tender. (Food rating: 2.5/5)

Interestingly, this stall also sells braised eggs and beancurd and I ordered a serving. I liked the beancurd best. It tasted the best when dipped in their chilli sauce. The chilli sauce was spicy and yet had a tint of lime/lemon zest. You can eat it on its own or as appetisers. (Food rating: 2.5/5)

The beef brisket stew seemed nice but it was rather rich in taste. I preferred the beef stew I ate at the Alexandra village to this one. More importantly, do remember to order a plate of rice to eat with the beef stew. (Food rating: 2.5/5)

Saturday, October 05, 2013

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Address: 392 Orchard Road, Ngee Ann City #02-11, Singapore 238872
Price: $
Rating: 2/5

URL: http://www.marmaladetoast.com.sg/

The Marmalade Toast is located along the famous shopping belt - Orchard Road in Singapore. It is one of the subsidiaries under the Marmalade Group. Marmalade Pantry, another restaurant that I like, is also under the umbrella of Marmalade Group.

I shop at Orchard Road frequently and have walked past the cafe many times. However, I had never dined at Marmalade Toast even once before. One day, after shopping for a couple of hours, I decided to have some desserts at Marmalade Toast. I have always wanted to try the food and compare the differences with Marmalade Pantry (located at Ion Orchard). Now that I finally tried the food, I left the cafe feeling disappointed and dissatisfied.

First of all, we came to the cafe rather late, around 5.30pm, and cafe was going to close at 6.00pm on a Sunday evening. We were a little surprised on the fact that a cafe would close early on Sunday evenings. Secondly, the food was very disappointing.

The entire dining experience was absolutely not worth it. With the expectations from my last experience at Marmalade Pantry, it was truly a disappointment. I do not foresee myself heading back to Marmalade Toast indefinitely, unless it is necessary.



When I saw the Lemon Meringue at the counter, it reminded me of a crown. Tempted by its look, I ordered a slice. When it was served, I stared at the huge cake and wondered how I could finish it. I took the first bite of cake and my spine shivered. The meringue was too sweet. I thought that I suffered from sugar rush thereafter. When we left the cafe, the cake looked as if it was untouched. For those who love very sweet stuff, meringue will be a choice. (Food rating: 2/5)


Ever since I had my strawberry cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory in Boston, I have starting cravings to have cheesecakes. The strawberry cheesecake was light and smooth that I finished the entire cheesecake without realising. At the marmalade toast, I was ecstatic when I saw the New York Cheesecake displayed in the showcase.  The cake was calling out to me, asking me to buy it. In the end, I ordered a slice of the delicious-looking cheesecake. With much anticipation, I took a bite of the cake. However, I was disappointed. Although it looked very nice, the cake was a little too rich. Furthermore, the texture of the cake was flaky. I did not finish the entire cake, unlike the Cheesecake Factory.  All in all, the cheesecake was merely normal and forgettable. (Food rating: 2/5)

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Address: 9 Bishan Place #01-37 Junction 8 Shopping Centre S579837
Price: $
Rating: 2.5/5

URL: http://www.pastamania.com.sg/index.php 

Where can you have good and yet, affordable pasta in Singapore? What comes to my mind is Pastamania. Pastamania has been one of my favourite pasta place since it was first set up in 1998. This food chain was started by an Englishman whose goal was to make Italian food more affordable.  To date, Pastamania has mushroomed from 2 outlets to 32 outlets islandwide.

When Pastamania was first set up, we were always warmly welcomed by attentive service staff who were keen to assist customers in one way or another. I loved the place where my friends and I could chill out and have great Italian food. The warm and friendly ambience at Pastamania made us, especially me, feel comfortable. 

As the organisation grew, the service standards dipped. The service staff became cold. However, the food still maintained its original standards. For many years, I enjoy the Spicy Chicken Pasta for entree and Banana Dessert Pizza for dessert. They are the two must-have items whenever I dine at Pastamania.

Recently, I dined at Junction 8 and saw how a simple gesture by a staff could make a customer feel great. It was dinner time then and the queue were very long. One of the Pastamania staff asked one of the customers who was in the queue if she had a table. As she was dining alone, she said no. He immediately told her that he would reserve a table for her. This simple gesture was very nice and thoughtful of him. He made her (the customer) feel warm that someone cared to ask. She might be worried about getting a table as she came alone. Though I was not sure if they have improved their service level, that simple gesture had already warmed my heart. 

My entire experience cost me $20.00. This include the entree, appetiser, dessert and drinks.   


Turkey Bacon Aglio was prepared with Fusili pasta. The nice al dente pasta was prepared with garlic and red chillis and the dish was finally topped with turkey bacon bits. Instead of my usual penne pasta, the fusili was a perfect choice for Turkey Bacon Aglio. The red chilli bits added spiciness. For those who love spicy food, you may want to consider this. Apart from the perfectly cooked pasta and hot chilli, the turkey bacon bit were a little disappointing. The bacon bits tasted tough as if they were smoked. I was expecting either crispy bacon or nicely grilled bacon. The overall experience was just normal, not taking into account of the bacon bits. I would rather order the plain aglio olio than this dish. (Food Rating: 2.5/5)


Banana Dessert Pizza is my all-time favourite. I will order this dessert without fail whenever I dine at Pastamania. The dessert pizza comprises of the pizza dough, sweet banana, sugar and cocoa powder. Apart from Fried Banana Fritters, the banana dessert pizza is the second banana food I like. When you take a bite, you can taste the sweetness of the banana and a tint of bitterness from the cocoa powder. I am starting to salivate while typing my experience on this page. (Food Rating: 3/5)


Calamari was prepared with cajun spiced squid rings and served with coriander chilli sauce. I love the cajun spices. The seasoning was tasteful and the spiciness somehow perked me up. You could even eat it on its own without dipping into the chilli sauce. When you are at Pastamania, why not order the calamari and share your thoughts with me. (Food Rating: 3/5)

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