Friday, October 31, 2008

154. Scoopz

It has been at the basement of Jurong Point for quite some time but I have never bought a scoop from it before. I happened to pass by so I decided to join the queue to get a scoop.
They have quite a range to choose from. Some flavours I have never seen before. The brown beer flavour.
Frankly speaking, the ice-cream didn't look very appetizing to me. It's like pure ice-cream even though they stated more real fruits. I couldn't really see the fruits in the ice-cream. Not like other ice-cream or gelato, their ice-cream is like full of nuts, fruits and tempting.

Then again, Scoopz is a healthier choice of ice-cream over the Haagen Daaz, B&J and etc which are fattening.

Mint & Cookies Flavour @$2.70/scoop
Indeed the ice-cream was really less sugar because it wasn't sweet at all. A mild mint flavour but with generous amount of cookies in it. There were chocolate chips in the ice-cream too.
Next time, I shall try the brown beer. Is it really beer?
Jurong Point

Thursday, October 30, 2008

153. Chop Hean Kuan

People's Park Food Centre. There are a few famous stalls. One of which is the Liang Tou Fu stall, always a long queue. Frankly speaking, I have no idea what is so nice about it. I have eaten it before and I felt it was just so-so. Today, I tried out the dimsum which is very near to the OG's entrance.

Handmade dimsum. Pork buns, char siew pastries, siew mai, egg tarts and a few others. They have occupied another stall a few stalls away as their manufacturing base. I saw 2 chefs making the pork buns and also the queue at the dim sum selling stall. So, I joined the queue.

Given its surroundings, Chop Hean Kuan looked like an old dimsum bakery but it is still standing strong.

The pork buns (bao) selling each at $1.60. Ever since the price of eggs hike up, many bao makers took the tiny slice of egg out of their baos. Most of the baos are egg-less. I'm so glad that Chop Hean Kuan is still selling their baos with the slice of egg. The skin was quite good, it didn't stick to my teeth. However, the pork filling was a tad too oily. Oil dripped like the soup from xiao long bao.

The crust of the egg tart was different from the usual fluffy type we had at dimsum restaurants. It was a traditional baked crust. Slightly burnt on the edge of the crust. The custard was quite good. Flabby and not too sweet. Overall, it was just so-so.

The siew mai is a must-try! It may have looked so ordinary but it was very good. Surprisingly, the siew mai was tangy. The meat was not very finely minced which thus gave texture to the siew mai.
Chop Hean Kuan
People's Park Food Centre

Monday, October 27, 2008

152. Royal China @Raffles

What's best than having a good dim sum meal on this public holiday morning? I have made a reservation. The lady at the entrance was very polite. The baby blue and white environment gave a very cosy feel. Old Shanghai tunes played in the background. Other than the oldies, the place wasn't so Shanghai style. In fact, I felt it was more of a modernised classic setting. When we have settled down, a bowl of braised peanuts was served to each of us. Pretty different from other places where the braised peanuts would have been placed in the middle of the table to be shared.
Siew Mai @$4.80

The siew mai is a must-try! The fillings were of tangy and succulent prawns, mushrooms and also meat. The filling was different from the siew mai I had at other places. They have added more ingredients. Definitely a hand-made siew mai. The siew mai whole was very tasty.

Beancurd skin roll @$4.80

It wasn't too oil-laden. The filling was good. They added veggies in their filling which gave the crunch. Crispy on the exterior and fulfilling on the interior. Together with the sweet vinegar sauce, sedap (delicious)~!

Chicken Claws @$3.60

The chicken claws was just so-so. I felt it wasn't soft enough. I didn't see any black beans. I felt the chicken claws would have taste better if it was cooked with black beans. Black beans will enhance the flavour of it. Lacked the wow in texture and taste. The one from WahLok was much better though they didn't use black beans either.

Shark Fins Dumpling @$8.80/pax

The clear golden broth was very good. Paid $8.80 and I could get a decent piece of fin, I think it was pretty worthwhile.
Vermicelli with braised brinjal @$22

I didn't know brinjal could be cooked with vermicelli. The combination was awesome. Must-try! But I felt it was slightly salty.

Signature Rice Rolls @$4.80

Their signature rice rolls. 3 fillings - char siew, scallop and prawn. No idea why they called it their signature rice rolls because the fillings was nothing special or different. But the skin of the rice rolls was very smooth.

Egg tartlets @$3.60

The tartlets were a 1 mouth bite size. The flabby custard was not too sweet. It was slightly expensive to cost $1.20 each. Also, it was a little dry.

Shanghai Dumplings/xiao long bao @$4.80

The skin was quite thin. They added veggies in the fillings. It was slightly salty.

Carrot Cake @$4

The carrot cake was a disappointment. Too sweet. It wasn't crispy enough though the exterior looked like any minute later on the frying pan would have char it.
The chinese sausages added in the carrot cake were very thinly sliced. Generally, I didn't like the taste of the chinese sausages because they were extreme in taste - too sweet and salty. I couldn't really taste the radish in the carrot cake.

Crispy duck @$18
This is a dish that has to be ordered first if you do not want to miss it. An hour before I reach Royal China, a lady called to ask if I wanted to make advance order on any of the 3 items - Sio Bak, Crispy duck and some chicken soup (forgot the name). These 3 were the fast-selling dishes.

So, I placed advance order on the sio bak and the crispy duck (1 serving. If you have more people, you could order half a duck/whole). The crispy duck was fried till crispy. The waiter shredded the meat easily with a fork and knife. No cutting was done. The knife was just used to hold down the meat. He used the fork to shred.....the meat was so crispy that all the waiter did was crushing on the meat and I could hear the 'crack...crack' sound even when I was sitting a distance away. The crispy duck was presented to us, wrapped like the peking duck. Instead of a whole slice of duck meat, we had shredded crispy duck meat. All I felt was the duck meat was very crispy and nothing much special in taste.

Sio Bak @$12

Okay....the sio bak was undeniable a fast-selling item. Must-try! The crust was so crispy. Woo...the chef has a hand with crispy stuffs, the crispy duck and this sio bak. The sio bak wasn't very fat. The lean:fat meat was perfect.

It went well with mustard. But hey, I found out it tasted just as well with raw/cane sugar too. Before this, I only know that mustard was served with sio bak....but at Royal China, they served you raw sugar too. Try it out!

Rice rolls fried in XO sauce @$8

This was recommended by the waitress who took our order. It was pretty tasty too. But due to the XO sauce, I find it a little oily and salty.

Fried fish coated with wasabi mayonnaise @$22

It was 1 of the daily specials. Must-try! Usually it was wasabi prawns. But it was fish this time round! The fish was coated with a dough and fried till crispy. The exterior was a bit like eating fried fritters but not so crispy.
I like the wasabi mayonnaise they have created. The wasabi was pretty mild but didn't loses its taste. My mum actually thought they were kiwi fruits.

Pumpkin Puree with black glutinous rice @$8

This is something to die for! Must-try! One serving was not enough. Actually I felt the serving was pretty small. Served in a cocktail glass, a scoop of vanilla ice-cream topped with the black glutinous rice and surrounded by the pumpkin puree, mango fruit diced and nuts.
The puree was so delicious! I think mango puree was mixed with pumpkin puree. The black glutinous rice was dried like raisins. Overall, it was divine. Nothing more needs to be said. I would say if it was cheaper, I would have ordered more. I felt for that quantity, it was too expensive.

Give me one more, pls....:P

Overall bill totalled up to around $150 for 5 pax. I think the food was pretty good and service was commendable.
Royal China @Raffles
Raffles Hotel
Level 3
Tel: 6338 3363
Mon-Sat : 12 pm - 3pm (Lunch)
Daily: 6pm - 10.30pm (Dinner)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

151. Dubai - Daiela

Sweet treats from Dubai. My makan kaki's colleague got this chocolate bite from Dubai. So, it was thanks to her I got to taste it. I believed it isn't imported into Singapore. It was so nice. An almond was wrapped in the date and the date was coated with chocolate on the exterior. The texture was like crunchy then soft and marshy then sweet. It was a bit like eating the soft nougat. If you have got a chance to go Dubai, be sure to get this, you will sure like it!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

150. Izakaya Nijumaru

A dinner gathering with a few university friends whom we have not met up for some time @Izakaya Nijumaru. Izakaya almost occupied the half of level 2 @Cuppage plaza. The dining area we were at was a small room filled with tables. They have a few of such rooms. The main one with the open-concept kitchen was already full of people. There were strips of paper of the dishes pasted on the wall. So many but there weren't so many as seen on the menu.

Teriyaki Beef @$13

The teriyaki beef was well-marinated. But I felt it was slightly dry and the miso sauce, a tad too salty.

Yakiudon @$8

The yakiudon was nice. Udon was tangy. Maybe they can add more meat or seafood so that we diners will feel it's more worthwhile.

Unajyu Bento @$20

I didn't have this so I shall reserve my comments. But, the unagi looked very delicious. And judging from the side dishes, I think for a $20, it was pretty worthwhile.

Karubeef @$15

I felt this was much better than the teriyki beef. Maybe because the beef was a fatter slab.

Toritsuk @$7

Shitake @$4

It wasn't aromatic. Taste was just so-so.

Mentaiko @$8

My favourite dish of the night. It would go so well with a bowl of rice. It wasn't too salty. Very nice. Yummy.

Sashimi Moriwase @$38
This was quite a deal. The sashimi was fresh and cut in thick slab. Seaweed was rolled in Ika which was quite delicious. I tasted the maguro which was sweet and fresh.
The total bill added up to $169.49 for 7 pax. I find the food pretty decent. Some of the food were quite a good deal. Because my friend miscalculated the cost, I ended up paying $42 for my share and I didn't realise it until I blogged this entry. It was a lesson for me that I should always check the bill. There goes my allowance. Haha. Forget it.

Izakaya Nijumaru
5 koek road
Cuppage Plaza
Singapore 228796
Tel: 6235 6693 / 6235 4857

149. Seventh Heaven

Gan Eng Seng Secondary School used to stand on the land where the Marketing Institute of Singapore is now. Raeburn Park, behind the Tanjong Pagar railway station, was like a ghost town even though it was just 9pm and the night classes were still going on.
Hidden in the middle of the campus, their cafe's name was printed faintly on the glasses. It was until I flipped the menu outside the door then we knew it was Seventh Heaven.
My makan kaki and I took "great pains" to reach this place. We walked all the way from Raffles Place. Later, we heard from the lady (I suppose 1 of the partners) that they even have customers who walked all the way from Marine Parade. we weren't the worst. Haha. Alright, we took it as a stroll to let our stomach digest the food from dinner and shift out some space for their so much raved ice-cream.

In their menu, they mentioned that their ice-cream was all hand-made with good quality ingredients and thus pricier. Whether they were telling the truth, let their ice-cream proved it. The lady told me that they will be changing their menu next week, adding in more new flavours.
There weren't any customers when we reached there. The environment was very quiet. I liked the bar top chairs.

We ordered the Irish Cream Liqueur and Chocolate and Whisky. 2 scoops @$9.20 (w/o GST)

Their vanilla was darn good. Very rich and aromatic. A very pleasing taste. You could see that their vanilla was made from vanilla pods and not made using vanilla essence.

The Chocolate and Whisky was heavier in taste. But it was very nice too, a great combination. I think chocolate lovers will like it.
I felt having ice-cream at Seventh Heaven was a real indulgence. Not just the price but the taste. And because the ice-cream was so palatable, you wouldn't mind paying more. Haha.
Seventh Heaven
10 Raeburn Park
Tel: 6227 7787

Mon-Thurs: 11 am- 8pm
Fri: 11 am - 11 pm
Sat: 1 pm - 11 pm
Closed on Sundays & PH

148. Viet Inn

My makan kaki suggested eating either at Viet Inn, Vietnamese cuisine or Saffron, Indian cuisine next door. So, I picked the Vietnamese. We wanted a soupy meal. Dimly lighted, the waitress switched on the fan to improve the ventilation as the air-conditioner slowly warmed up. There were only 2 ladies eating in there when we went in.

Look at the sauces available. Besides the usual chili and soy sauce, there was also the fish sauce which is more commonly used in Vietnamese and Thai cuisine.

The Chinese do use fish sauce in their cuisine too but we do not find the fish sauce on the table like Viet Inn has.

Entree - Fresh prawn and pork rice paper (Goi Cuon) @$8

The rice paper was used to wrap prawns, pork, vermicelli, mint leaves and lettuce. It was almost like eating a salad roll. It's so healthy. No oil at all. Served with light bean sauce and crushed peanuts. The sauce was the finishing touch to this dish. Without the sauce, the roll was almost vegetarian and bland.
Now, you know why the Vietnamese ladies look so slim and nice in their traditional costume, ao dais ?

Vietnamese authentic roasted coffee drip with milk and ice (Cafe Sua Da) @$2.50

We have never drank Vietnamese coffee before so the two of us were pretty amazed by it when served. The coffee mixture was put on top in a container with a petri dish alike holder at the bottom. But the petri dish had holes to allow the coffee to drip from the top to the cup below. We thought the waitress took our order wrongly because ice wasn't served. So, we asked the waiter and he explained slowly and kindly to us that the coffee mixture already contained milk but ice will only be served when the coffee had dripped finish. Haha.

And soon, he reappeared with a glass of ice and kindly demostrated to us how should the coffee be prepared. He stirred the coffee and then poured it into the glass of ice. Jajang! Ready to drink!

I could smell the strong aroma of the roasted coffee when the metal lid was lifted.

Let's understand coffee through B.A.D - Body, Acidity and Degree of roast.

My tastebuds told me the Vietnamese coffee was a full-body, low acidity and a medium degree of roast. Pretty much near to the taste of Mocha. Slight bitterness. I felt too much sweetened condensed milk was added which resulted the coffee to be a tad too sweet.

Glass and egg noodles with wanton (Hu Tieu Mi Tom Thit) @$9

I didn't eat this so I shall reserve my comments.

Traditional Vietnamese beef and chicken soup (Pho) @$9.80

Pho is pronounced as 'fer'. Rice noodles in a herbal broth, with chili slices, beansprouts, basil leaves and a small slice of kaffir lime.

It was a big bowl of noodles. Very generous amount of beef slices. The broth wasn't so strong herbal flavoured which I think didn't make the Pho a wow to me.

Dessert - Three colour sweet (Che 3 Mau) @$3.50

This dessert was like a simplified version of our chendol. The 3 colours are red, yellow and green. Red kidney beans, Yellow mung bean paste and green starch noodles in coconut milk and small ice cubes. I liked the kidney beans. They were so big.
Our chendol was much fancier with jelly, atap seeds etc. Also ours used shaved ice but we don't add kidney beans. :(

Three colour sweet makes a good chilling dessert on a hot day!

We ordered the set meal which included 1 entree, 2 mains, 1 dessert and 1 drink which gave us a 10% discount. The bill totalled up to $32.90. I felt the food was pretty decent and cheap. Both the waiter and waitress were friendly and approachable.
Viet Inn
49 Circular Road
Tel : 6536 1847