Saturday, March 16, 2013

377. KUMO Sake Bar - Hiyashi Beef Rice

Hiyashi Beef Rice Original

Kumo has extended their area to occupy the shop space that is more visible from the road. This shop space is used as a sake bar and they serve Hiyashi Beef Rice during lunch time. Every time I walk past the sake bar, there are people eating in there. One day, I decided to find out what's on their menu. Not many choices to choose from. Either the hiyashi beef rice, the hiyashi beef rice with a soft boiled egg or the tonkatsu. We all went for the hiyashi beef rice original, topped up with a glass of honey lemon. For a moment, one may mistake it for curry rice. Hiyashi beef rice is apparently quite a popular dish in Japan. 

Our order didn't take long as we could see the chef in the opposite open concept kitchen dished out the hiyashi beef rice to the serving counter. We sat at the top bar counter and I sneakily threw glances at the customers' (mostly Japanese) plate. They ate with such delight, finished every bit of the demi glace beef sauce. To be exact, it was more of a minced beef sauce. I thought a tad too minced for what I would prefer. Also a tad too salty. The lunch companions had the same felts. In fact, I felt the beef taste was also too strong. Very much like canned minced beef. Unlike the other Japanese customers, I could barely finish the minced beef sauce. I did a quick research online. Information available said hiyashi's main ingredients generally contain red wine, tomato, onions and button mushrooms. I supposed the one served at Kumo is the original rendition of a Hiyashi Beef Rice. The beautiful tomato definitely helped to ease a bit of the richness taste in my mouth. 

I am not sure if the locals take this dish as well as the Japanese. 
Have you tried this? What's your comment on this dish?

KUMO Sake Bar
Icon Village,
12 Gopeng Street, #01-58

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

376. Triple Three - Norwegian Delicacies

I went on an invited dinner session by Triple Three, attracted by the email titled seafood from Norway. Salmon was the first thing that came across my mind. Forgive my shallow knowledge, I forgot that there are much more than just salmon that swim in the sea in Norway!

Chef Adrian Levoid

It was quite nice to have this Norwegian-born young handsome chef, Adrian Levoid with us for the night. Not only good food for the palate, handsome chef pleasing to the eyes as well. A promising chef indeed. He is only 25 years old. The night was lined up with delicacies. Chef Adrian personally prepared 3 of his signature dishes for all the invited guests. First of all, the scallops which he had us seeing him demonstrating in the above picture.

Scallops (Jerusalem artichoke, watercress, Japanese onion and fennel seeds)

I am quite sure that I was kidnapped by the mash that laid underneath the scallop. It was something quite different, I thought. Ah! The artichoke. Have never tasted one before. It was butter creamy and sweet. Nice. The seared scallop was fresh and sweet, quickly melts in the mouth (not in the hands). Surprisingly, the two matched well though the artichoke was also sweet, contrast in taste was distinct. 

Neither one stole the limelight.
We are young.

King Crab (Chervil, cauliflower, sauce on the shell)

The presentation of this dish made me think of the movie "Life of Pi". The boy left sailing on a boat. Despite perils, survived strong. So here was the king crab. I felt the king crab itself was already bursting with sweetness, the cauliflower puree was probably more than required. Still, down it with the freshness of seafood.

Salmon Asparagus (brown butter emulsion and fennel seeds)

This was one of the best I had for the night. Salmon was really fresh. Chef Adrian had done it to such tenderness that really melts away in my mouth the moment I had them and I just wanna sing "I got the moves like jagger". I felt the fish moved like a jagger. The brown butter emulsion tasted like salted caramel.

The night was not left lonely with these 3 dishes. 

 Oooo I loved the Norway sweet prawn! The Norway halibut, salmon.......Just not enough with one serving. Kee Chiew! for a YES! to another serving.

Norwegian Seafood Bouillabaisse 
(Monkfish, Codfish, Mussel, Norway Lobster Scampi,Sweet Prawn)

I thought the broth was rather rich but a tad too salty.

I must say the poached lobsters were super good. Too bad that my photo did not turn out well due to the lighting and because I was using my phone to capture these photos. My dslr didn't work that night. The meat was succulent and sweet and Viola! Again, one is never enough.

Freshly shucked oysters was yum yum, the king crab was mama-mia. 
That night was the night that I probably had the most seafood fresh seafood from a buffet line. Yes, from the buffet. I am rather fussy about eating seafood at buffets, not the ones by Triple Three though.

Last but not least, never leave the table without the delectable desserts. 

Join in the celebration of seafood from Norway with Triple Three!
Available from 12-28 March 2013, for dinner only. 
For reservations, please call 6831 6288 or email

Thanks to Triple Three for having me. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

375. Chui Huay Lim Teochew Club

I have heard rave reviews on Chui Huay Lim but has yet to try the food. Maybe it's because of Teochew cuisine which doesn't appeal to me as much as the western food and I thought if I were to go, it will definitely be with the family, prim and proper. The opportunity comes right at the time when I decided to go during my birthday month. Chui Huay Lim belongs to Jumbo group, so does Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh if you have not known. Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh is located at Chui Huay Lim Teochew Club now. 
We decided lunch. We were first served a small cup of tei-guan-yin tea. The fragrant aroma quickly filled the air.
Pumpkin Broth Shark Fin's with Truffle Oil

I have never been a fan of pumpkin for I felt it tasted weird to be made a savory dish in most of the Chinese cuisine. I browsed through the menu and this was one of the chef's recommendation. Rather unique, I thought. Intrigued by how it would taste, I went for it. It was surprisingly tasty. The pumpkin taste was not very overpowering and was made tastier with the chicken broth. The old folks at the table ate with curiosity without knowing it was the truffle oil that caused the strong 'moldy' smell.   

Pork Trotters Jelly

I loved this dish. I think it is very amazing how a Teochew dish can actually be made a cold dish. Dipped into the vinegary chili sauce, it was heavenly.
Teochew 'Puning' Fermented Bean Chicken, 走地鸡

I wondered what's Puning. Did a quick search and got to know that Puning is actually a city, one of the counties where Teochew prefecture existed. As a foodie, I'm more intrigued by the free range chicken's taste. There were seasoned mustard laid underneath the chicken. Every mouthful of the chicken is springy and the slight sourish taste of mustard goes so well together. The fermented bean didn't make the chicken too salty nor did it made the chicken over salty. It is indeed a good dish to go with rice!
 Deep Fried Ngoh Hiang

The old folks commented the ngoh hiang was good but I'm not a fan of ngoh hiang so I'm not commenting on this dish.

Deep Fried Teochew Liver Rolls
Liver rolls! First time have I eaten this dish. It was also my first time to hear of liver rolls. It was soft in texture and it didn't taste weird nor bad. If you are a fan of liver, I mean chicken liver or pork liver which I think could have been a mixture of the two, you should go for this.

 Teochew Fried Kway Teow with Diced Kai Lan

This is not something new to me. It had a very strong 'wo-hei' smell. I felt it could have been better if there was more chye-po. A tad oily. 

Overall was a very satisfied lunch for me. Enjoying a good lunch with the old folks on a lazy afternoon is never better than having a rushed one on a busy weekend. 

Chui Huay Lim Teochew Club
115 Keng Lee Road

375. Nana's Green Tea

Nana's Green Tea will be opening another outlet at Plaza Singapura this Friday, 21 December 2012. On this special day, they will be offering a 1-for-1 matcha latte. On top of that, Nana's will be donating half of their proceeds to two beneficiaries. This charity drive will be for the entire day and will be graced by Mr Gerard Ee, the executive director of Beyond Social Services. Do a part, to give and share for this Christmas. What's more you will enjoy a jolly drink on the house when you purchased one. Ho Ho Ho!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

374. Ember

A colleague is making her pilgrimage to Israel for 2 weeks and decided that she wanted a good lunch. So, I suggested Ember @Keong Siak St  and we quickly placed a reservation. The place seemed to make use of day light infusion into the area. Quickly served to our reserved table, we were welcomed by the brightly lit smile from the waitress who has recognised a frequent patron, another colleague of mine. It was my first visit.

Quickly, we placed our order. The smell of the warm sun-dried tomato and herb infused foccacia immediately filled our nose. Yummy good. We had pan-seared foie gras with orange reduction. The generous slab of foie gras soon arrived at our table and we digged in anxiously, enjoying the fats that melted instantly in our mouths.

2 of us ordered the duck confit, I went for the pork belly after much persuasion from my colleague and the waitress and another colleague ordered the marinated cod with black miso. I managed to steal a generous try of the duck confit. The Duck Confit though crispy was kept moist in the meat. Paired with the 48-hour cooked cameralised onions with thyme and mushrooms, the taste was good enough for a praise but somehow lacks the oomph somewhere.

My 12-hour Cooked Pork Belly with Savoy Cabbage, Apple Puree & Spiced Calvados Sauce arrived and I managed with a giggle when the waiter said your chocolate pork instead of your pork belly. No idea how the relation came about. He must have been too nervous as he explains what are the sauces on plate. Clearly, I can identify mustard sauce and sweet sauce but not the one contained in the test tube. It was pork jus in layperson. The pork belly skin was very crispy and the meat was a tad too tendersoft that it got disintegrated easily at the touch of my knife and pork, leaving the crispy skin and meat apart. Someone we knew claimed it the expensive sio-yok.

There is always room for desserts. Naturally, it's a one of each for us 4. Crispy Caramelized Pear Tart with Homemade Bailey Ice Cream , Frozen Nougat with Seasonal Berries , Warm Valrhona Chocolate Fondant with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and the Cameralised French Toast with Nutella and Vanilla Ice Cream.

We attacked the frozen nougat first before it melted. The nougats with pistachio and nuts coupled with the lychee sorbet quickly melted in our mouths. Before I realised, we cleared one dessert.  

Cameralized french toast with the nutella did not induce any unfamiliarity. In fact, I think it works better for morning breakfast.
The cripsy caramelized pear tart was delicious, crispy and flaky, lighter than expected in taste. Has a nice almond taste. The taste of bailey in the ice cream on the other hand seemed to be less evident.

Chocolate is a must, said my colleague when placing our orders for desserts. Don't think it does justice to her statement, I find the chocolate fondant too sweet and rich and luckily, we each got just a quarter.   

Overall, for a 3-course set lunch of $39.50++ is definitely a steal, value for money. Our bill worked out to be estimate $54 each with additional top up for a foie gras appetizer.

Restaurant Ember
Hotel 1929
50 Keong Siak Street

Operating Hours
Lunch: 11.30am to 2.00pm
Dinner: 6.30pm to 10.00pm
Closed for lunch on Saturdays and Sundays,
Dinner is closed on Sundays.

Reservations Contact
T: 65 6347 1928