Thursday, April 30, 2015

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Beef noodles is a Chinese variety that comes either in soup or stew. At some places, they are even distinguished between beef noodles (牛肉面) and beef brisket noodles (牛腩面). 

In Singapore, there are two kinds of beef noodles, soup or dry. I usually frequent at Authentic Hock Lam St Popular Beef Noodles along North Canal Road. It is also especially so when I am dining alone. Unlike other food outlets, this place was very systematic and the people work clockwise. Let me elaborate the process. When you arrive at the shop, you have to make an order before you are assigned to a table. After you have ordered and paid for the food, the pretty reception will assign you a table. If you happen to order a beverage, hand the receipt to another lady who is in charge of bringing you to your table and your beverage. She is also the same lady who will be clearing the table for the next customer. Another lady will be in charge of bringing the food from the kitchen and serving you at your table. They are so efficient that you do not have to look for a table. 

I ordered two noodles - soup and dry and a couple of side dishes. All in all, I spent SGD21 for a delicious and hearty meal. 

I love the beef noodles soup the most. The beef noodles were flavoursome. The beef slices were tender and the beef noodles chewy. The noodles were also topped with bean sprouts, preserved vegetables and Chinese coriander for added fragrance. I ordered a bowl of beef slices with beef balls. I enjoyed this bowl of noodles immensely. (Food rating: 4/5)

The beef noodles dry was very similar to the one with soup. The only difference was I chose a different type of noodles - yellow egg noodles, instead of flat rice noodles. Instead of the soup, the noodle dish was poured with their beef thick sauce. It was mildly sticky but flavourable. You can even eat it on its own. (Food rating: 4/5)

One of the side dishes was braised egg. The egg was flavourful and you can even eat it on its own. The eggs at one put you know that it is freshly prepared. (Food rating: 3/5)

The braised beancurd was very nicely sliced into bite sizes, easy to eat. The sauce was rich and had an aromatic fragrance. (Food rating: 3/5)

Address: 06 North Canal Rd (opp OCBC centre Chulia St) Singapore 048819
Price: $
Rating: 3.5/5
Stuffness Level (How full you are): 4/5
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Imagine you can have a gastronomical dinner without burning a huge hole in your pocket. But you will never believe it when you have tried some great seafood restaurants established in the neighbourhood areas. 
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Located in the neighbourhood shopping mall - Nex Serangoon, we, a group of five, went to Dian Xiao Er (店小二) for lunch. This restaurant was highly recommended by my friend who came here the last time. She could not forget the scrumptious meal she had the last time at the restaurant.

I remembered dining at Dian Xiao Er at Marina Square Mall with my friends a couple of years ago. However, the food did not resonate in my brain until I ate it again at Nex Serangoon. The entire dining experience exploded my senses as well as my guests'. We kept exclaiming 'WOWs!!" and sang endless praises of all the food that served at our table. Their great service was also commendable. The total damages for this excellent dining experience was SGD195.50 for five people, which I found it value for money. Both my friends and I were extremely happy with the ambrosial dinner. 

Duck roasted with Ten Wonder Herbs (SGD25.90) was introduced as a dish that revitalises ancestral energy, relieves mental stress and promotes longevity. The dish comprises ten herbs including Condonopsis Root, Foxglove Root, Licorice Root and etc. It was also added that people who are prone to nervousness will benefit from its calming etc. Ignoring the herbal benefits, the duck meat was succulent - juicy, tender and sweet tasting. The sauce was savoury that was both pleasant and agreeable. You can eat it on its own and best eaten with steamed rice. (770kcal for small portion) (Food rating: 4/5)

Belacan Kangkong or Sambal Kangkong is a dish that one either makes it or breaks it. At Dian Xiao Er, this vegetable dish blew my mind away. It was beyond my expectation as the vegetables were cooked to perfection. The medium-sized Belacan Kangkong, priced at SGD13.30, amazed every one of us. This dish is not only spicy and stimulating in taste but also crunchy in texture. We loved this dish immensely. (400 kcal for small size) (Food rating: 4/5)

Roasted Duck with Wild Ginseng - medium portion (SGD26.30) was introduced as cooling and revitalising. It was said to promote the secretion of body fluids, reduce heatiness and restore energy level. It has a soothing effect on the lungs, especially helpful to smokers and drinkers, urban dwellers and people prone to fatigue and irritability. Whether it was really that powerful, I will leave you to make your own judgment. AThere was a mild ginseng flavour in the duck meat. The dish was lip-smacking delicious. The duck skin was also crispy whilst the meat was succulent. Many a times, I wondered how it was done. (Food rating: 4/5) 770kcal for small portion

Dong Po Pork (SGD13.90) was savoury. The sauce had a rich aroma and was flavoursome. The pork belly was moist and tender. The meat melted immediately after you placed it in your mouth. (Food rating: 3.5/5)


XO Seafood Fried Rice (SGD11.30) was satisfying. The rice were graincy and you could even taste the nice aroma from the hot wok. The dish was served with a generous of shrimps, squid and dried scallops, stir fried with their special XO sauce that gave that added flavour. Even though I have a soft spot for fried rice, this dish is truly delectable - fit for a king. Each mouthful of rice was blissful and heavenly delicious. (Food rating: 4/5) 680kcal for small portion

Sauteed String Beans with XO Sauce (SGD12.30) (110kcal for small portion) was amazingly delicious. The minced meat and the string beans were cooked to perfection. Eating this vegetable dish was like eating snacks, you just keep popping them into your mouth. Unbelievable!! (Food rating: 4/5)

Sauteed Broccoli with Scallops (SGD18.30) was rather normal. The scallops were perfectly cooked, not overcooked until the seafood was tough. (Food rating: 2.5/5)

Cereal Prawn or Cereal Butter Prawn (SGD19.60) deserves a standing ovation. The prawns were very fresh and cooked to perfection. Cooked in butter, cereal and curry leaves, the entire dish became extremely fragrant and mouthwatering. When the prawns were gone, you can even eat the cereals on its own. (Food rating: 4/5)


Address: Nex Serangoon, 23 Serangoon Central, #02-09/10, Singapore 556083
Price: $
Rating: 4/5
Stuffness Level (How full you are): 4.5/5

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

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Bak Kut Teh or Pork Rib Soup is one of Singapore's local food. When you are in Singapore, you may find it almost everywhere in the city. At Lau Pat Sat Festival Market, you will also find at least one stall selling Bak Kut Teh.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

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I was introduced to Bacchanalia recently and I fell in love with the food served from this restaurant.  The restaurant boasts itself for its sharing concept where you can order and share with your partner. This fine-dining restaurant was a superb place which I would definitely recommend anyone to try.

My friend and I went there for dinner. Though we were advised to order only 5 dishes for two, we ordered more than recommended. I was glad that we did order more as we managed to try many wonderful dishes. Our total damages was $360.

 
Coconut and Rice was served in creamy coconut risotto, chilli paste, fermented coconut and thai-inspired flavours. At SGD26, the serving was great for two. The rice was chewy and the rich coconut sauce was with mild chilli paste evoked epicurean delight.  (Food rating: 4/5)

Breaking Bread comprises sourdough and focaccia breads served with three different housemade specials. Today's housemade specials were (from front) tomato-inspired, potato chip-inspired and finally, balsamic vinegar in olive oil.  At SGD10, the breads were absolutely delicious, the crust was crispy and the inside was soft and warm. I loved the tomato-inspired spreads the most. The reason why I wrote it as tomato- or potato-inspired was because I could not remember the name. However, that was the exact taste. (Food rating: 3.5/5)

Mushroom Fantasia (SGD18) was four types of mushrooms cooked four ways: cordycep, portobello, shimeji and oyster mushroom with sweet corn veloute. Sweet corn veloute is a soup thickened by egg yolk, butter and cream. The portobello were dipped into a batter, coated with crumbs and finally deep fried. When I chewed on the crispy breaded mushroom, the juice gushed out. However, the mushrooms had an oily taste which made one not wanting to eat further. The cordyceps mushrooms (in orange) and shimeji mushrooms were chewy and delicious. The oyster mushrooms on the other hand had an unique taste which we could not figure it out. Apart from the tastes of the four mushrooms, the restaurant used fresh ingredients to prepare the food. All the mushrooms were pretty and alluring. (Food rating: 4.5/5)

French Onion Soup, priced at 22, serves two. We were served with a bowl of crispy cheddar, rye bread, onion marmalade and ricotta. Then the 80c french onion soup, which was boiled for 48 hours, was poured out from the mini tea pot. The onion soup was very sweet and with the ingredients in the bowl, it became more fragrant. It was extremely enjoyable to try this SGD22 soup. (Food rating: 4/5)

HD scallops, when served, comprises norwegian hand dived scallops, borlotti beans, kalix caviar and cacao. At SGD37, it was an unforgettable dish. The scallops were perfectly prepared and cut into bite size. The Borlotti beans were delicious and gave the dish that added crunch. Extremely palattable. (Food rating: 4/5)

Calamari Grenobloise was grilled calamari, chayote squash, hasselback potatoes, artichoke puree, sauce grenobloise. The grilled calamari was beautifully presented, lighted salted and charred at the sides. The seafood was absolutely delicious and cooked to perfection. The grilled potatoes were thoughtfully cut so that diners could eat the vegetables easily. (Food rating: 4.5/5)

The Roti Lamb in the menu came in two surprises. The first one was the kibbeh nayeh, which means it consist of minced raw lamb mixed with fine bulgur and spices. It was served on a mini wrap. I was surprised when they introduced raw lamb in their ingredients. It was my first time having raw lamb despite having raw beef at one of the celebrity restaurants 1-2 years ago. This really requires one to get over the raw lamb and taste the food itself. With the fine bulgur and spices, the lamb meat did not taste any weird or funny. The meat was not gamey but tasted fresh. (Food rating: 3.5/5)
The next lamb dish was the NZ lamb saddle with charred eggplant, sprouted mung beans, sesame. The compressed cucumber was interesting. It looked like pop candies but it was actually cucumbers. The flesh of the compressed cucumber was more dense, giving the impression of being more juicy. The dense juicy cucumber disintegrated as soon as we chewed it. What we found fascinating was the lamb saddle was divinely delicious! (Food rating: 4/5)

It was interesting that you get to enjoy two kinds of lamb meat with two different experiences at the price of SGD42.

Steak and Sauce Rossini serves 365 days grained fed petite tender, cauliflower mushroom, celeriac, foie gras and red wine jus, and potato crisp. The steak, at SGD38, was really worth it. The meat was tender and red. Its juiciness was already sealed and each bite of the steak was heavenly. The lightly salted and pepper steak really brought tears in my eyes. The seasoned celeriac or turnip-rooted celery was delicious. (Food rating: 4.5/5)

Priced at SGD35, you can have a plate of foie gras satay, served with sous vide foie gras with lemongrass and tamarind fuels jam, grated chestnuts, and peanut satay sauce. The foie gras was cooked in an airtight plastic bag and then placed in a water bath. The lady sitting next to me was full of praises when she ate the foie gras. She kept saying it to her companion and to the server. As for me, the liver was soft. I thought that the liver bitter aftertaste was stronger in the middle. However, the charred outer sides were ok. I cannot say that I am an expert in eating foie gras but it was my objective evaluation. (Food rating: 3/5)

Though this was not part of the menu, the Marshmallow with shredded chestnut was a miracle. This was served before the dessert. The marshmallow had some citrus flavour which refreshed our palate for desserts. ate for dessert. The marshmallow combi gave us a multi-sensory experience - the citrus flavour exploded into our mouths. (Food rating: 4/5)


Tiramisu is a popular coffee-flavoured Italian dessert. Made of marsala mousse, coffee ganache, cacao gel and blackcurrant sorbet, the dessert offered a surprise treat. Put the cake, including the biscuit-like pastry at the base of the dessert into your mouth. You will suddenly feel and hear popping sounds. Guess what? That surprise was pop candy that lightened everyone's mood. Both my friend and I were playing with the pop candy and laughing at each other. The pop candy reminded us of our childhood days. At SGD 18, this dulcet dessert blew our minds away. In the centre of the cake, you will find a small dough soaked in aromatic coffee. The blackcurrant ice cream was sour. By taking the sour ice cream, it neutralised our tongue so that we would not find the cake overly sweet. When the server introduced the ingredients for this dessert, he mentioned marsala. Raised in a multi-racial society like Singapore, the first thing I imagined was the marsala in Indian cuisine. I was wrong. The marsala used in the tiramisu was the marsala wine, a fortified wine from Sicily.  (Food rating: 4.5/5)

Banana Monkey Bread was an interesting name. From the name, I imagined that it was a loaf of banana bread with some syrup. Well, I was quite close. This desserts serves custard and rum soaked brioche with  yogurt ice cream. At SGD15, the brioche, a french pastry made the same way as bread, soaked with sweet banana puree. By the time, this dessert was served, we were too full. But we finished every single bit of the dessert as it was too delicious. The soft bread and sweet banana puree were ambrosial. Note: the preparation takes at least 20 minutes. Therefore, order in advance if necessary. (Food rating: 4.5/5)

Address: Masonic Club, 23A Coleman St, Singapore 179806
Price: $$$
Rating: 4.5/5
Stuffness Level (How full you are): 4.5/5 
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It was a lazy evening and I met my friends for dinner at Skinny Pizza. We ordered a couple of pizzas and other side dishes. When it was served, we were surprised on the amount of food that was on the table. We have underestimated the amount of food we ordered, but it was a wonderful dining experience.

In total, we spent about $132.41 for three persons.


Chicken Satay (SGD23) serves with satay spice-marinated chicken, sweet and spicy pineapple cubes and freshly made satay sauce, paired with refreshing baby romaine lettuce, watercess, Japanese cucumber and cherry tomatoes. What I liked about the pizza was it tasted so much like the local satay. The crust pizza was very thin and biscuit-like. The chicken meat was tender and the cucumber cubes were refreshing. Because of its strong peanut gravy, it would be best that you share with someone else. (Food rating: 3/5)

Wild Truffle Mushrooms (SGD29) is a unique pizza topped with roasted portobello and button mushrooms, sweet onions, shaved Parmesan and drizzled with aromatic truffle oil. What I like most about this pizza is the aromatic fragrance from the mushroom and truffle oil. (Food rating: 3/5)

Smoked Turkey Swiss (SGD24) is a perfect combination of smoked turkey ham, Swiss cheese served with blueberry compote, rocket, fresh onions and a sprinkling of cracked black pepper. I felt as if it was Thanksgiving Day. The turkey, cheese and blackcurrant jam was a perfect combination. However, it was a little salty. (Food rating: 3/5)

Sweet potato nibblets, truffle fries and grilled garlic flat bread were three sides we ordered. The sweet potato nibblets tasted very much like the ones I had in Taipei - Hao da. The truffle fries were very normal. As for the grilled garlic flat bread, it was not bad. (Food rating: 2.5/5)



Free nachos when we ordered three pizzas.

Address: Raffles City, #B1-63/64, 252 North Bridge Road, Singapore 179103
Price: $
Rating: 3/5
Stuffness Level (How full you are): 4.5/5

Sunday, April 26, 2015

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We were back to Heng Long Teochew Porridge again. Many a times, I do miss having Teochew porridge. Heng Long Teochew Porridge serves delicious foods at reasonable prices. We spent about SGD30 for all the dishes below, including three bowls of plain white porridge. Yummy!!

Sweet and spicy fried anchovies were crispy and peanuts were crunchy. It tasted very delicious with porridge. (Food rating: 3.5/5)

Braised deep-fried beancurd were divinely delicious. It tasted so much like the ones from Kway Chap. 

The lightly steamed fish fillet with ginger shreds were freshly prepared. The sauce was light and tasted well with the porridge. The fish with the ginger shreds went do well together. (Food rating: 3.5/5)

Recently I have grown great interest in duck meat. I feared duck meat previously because of its bitter aftertaste. I realised that only who knows how to cook the duck will not make the meat taste bitter. At Heng Long, the soy duck was tender, moist and more importantly, did not have a bitter aftertaste. The sauce was also delicious. I poured sauce into the porridge, making it more fragrant. I must definitely learn how to cook this duck too. (Food rating: 4/5)

Order a serving of Chai Poh or Preserved Radish Omelette when you have porridge. I love having them together that always add that extra punch. (Food rating: 3.5/5)

Some people love it and some don't. For me, I can't say that I appreciate it. The minced meat was cooked with fermented black bean and chilli. The fermented black bean was salty and had an unique flavour which does not suit me at all. (Food rating: 2.5/5)

Braised pork skin/rind is a delicacy here. Compared with potato chips, the pork skin/rinds has healthier because it has unsaturated fats - the same healthy fats as olive oil. Also it contains collagen, which is an essential ingredient in most anti-ageing creams, etc. We ordered a serving of braised pork rinds - my first time having it. It was soft and disintegrated in my mouth very quickly. The pork rinds was cooked for very long hours to have such soft texture. (Food rating: 4/5)

Deep-fried anchovies are always my favourite. The crispy fishes mixed with the hot watery porridge tasted very delicious. I will never get sick of eating it. (Food rating: 2.5/5)

The Chinese waxed sausage was delicious. It is usually a southern flavour of sausages. In Singapore, you can find healthier choices than the traditional variety. The sausage slices were sweet and salty at the same time, a best companion of the plain white porridge. (Food rating: 2.5/5)


Address: 1006, Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534744
Price: $
Rating: 3.5/5
Stuffness Level (How full you are): 4.5/5
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Imagine a man's simple wish "to bring quality Western cuisine to the masses at affordable prices" came to reality. In 2005, he left his job as a restaurant chef to set up a food business on his own. Started Astons Specialities in a coffeeshop along East Coast Road, his business has expanded since. 

At the Singapore Institute of Management, Astons has a food stall at the school cafeteria. Surprisingly, you will good western cuisine at an affordable price, enjoyed by both staff and students alike. I ordered a char-grilled chicken with two sides at SGD6.90. The two sides - mac & cheese and coleslaw were delicious. Unlike some of the mac & cheese I have eaten before, the cheese was rich and the pasta was delicious. The coleslaw was appetising. The cabbage was crunchy that gave that added twist. 

The char-grilled chicken was heavenly delicious. The outer part of the chicken was crispy and the inner part was tender and moist. You will wonder how the chicken was being cooked. You can just eat the chicken on its own without any condiments like chilli sauce. I must say that this is good food that is worth raving about. I will definitely be back again. (Food rating: 4/5)


Address: Singapore Institute of Management (SIM), 461 Clementi Road, Blk A, Level 3, Foodcique Stall 1, Singapore 599491
Price: $
Rating: 4/5
Stuffness Level (How full you are): 4/5

Saturday, April 25, 2015

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Unlike dining at the neighborhood/ suburban areas, the cost of each meal is usually more costly. The rental cost, utilities and even the labour costs are most likely factored into the cost of the food. 

However, you will find gems in the city area where you can have good food at affordable prices. For instance, at May Hwa coffee shop, you'll find delicious food selling at affordable prices. The portion was just nice. I bought bimbibap from the Korean cuisine food stall. At $7.50, the portion was huge. Served in sizzling hot Claypot bowl, you can hear the rice crackling. Poured the red pepper paste into the bowl, I mixed all the ingredients, rice and sauce together. 

The ingredients were freshly prepared and the portions were big. Each spoonful was filled with vegetables, meat and egg. The red pepper paste was just nice, neither too strong nor too light. I liked the way it was prepared and the overall taste. It is something I would come back again. 



Address: Golden Shoe Complex, 50 Market Street, Singapore 048940
Price: $
Rating: 2.5/5
Stuffness Level (How full you are): 4/5

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