Saturday, February 21, 2009

228. Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant

I had my dinner at Ah Yat last night. We made a few rounds before we finally managed to find the location, The Village. The focus for the night's dinner - LIVE Seafood! Despite being a friday night, it wasn't as crowded as I had expected. However, they still had the air-con on full blast. I was freezing, warmed after a few sips of hot tea. Ah Yat is famous for their abalone. I had it when I was very young, I could still remember the Hong Kong chef, Ah Yat had personally cooked for us. It was live demostration then. I had some other seafood this time round. It was almost after a decade I visited Ah Yat again.
The variety of shells, clams.....
Oysters, bamboo clams.......
Crabs selling at $1.60 per 100g!!!
The man and the Alaska crabs....

There was quite a variety of seafood available and all were priced at 50% discounted price.
Deep fried silver fish with salt @$10
This was an appetizer. I felt it tasted more like french fries but a harder version. There wasn't much visible fish meat. I felt if some black pepper was added, it could have been better.
5 Bamboo clams @$44 $22

Steamed garlic bamboo clams. I felt the way Ah Yat have done it was a little oily. Nevertheless, the clam's meat was firm and tangy. After 50% disc, it was just $4.40 for 1 bamboo clam. Other places would have cost $7-$9 for one bamboo clam.
This dish was cancelled because most of the shells were not opened. I tasted one but it wasn't great. The meat was a tad overcooked, it was rubbery. It wasn't very nice.
Australian lobster, 1.6kg @$236.80 $118.40
This was the best lobster that I have tasted this year. We had it cooked in stock. The lobster was full of meat, fresh and sweet. The meat was like that of fresh scallop, so succulent and juicy. Can you believe it, it was really so cheap.....the last Indonesian lobster I had a month ago was just 700g and it cost near $90!
Roasted Chicken (half) @$10

We had some non-seafood dish, the roasted chicken. The chicken wasn't exceptionally great nor was it the worst that I have tasted so far. The best roasted chicken I have tasted so far was from Boon Lay Raja Restaurant.
Spinach @$12

I'm pretty surprised that the greens cost more than the chicken. Cooked with garlic whole, it went well with rice.
Complimentary fruits

Red bean soup with glutinous rice balls @$4

Yes. This was the portion for $4 which I thought was very expensive. It was the size of the soup bowl that we had at restaurant. The red bean soup was quite watery, not many beans.

Our bill worked out to be $227.60 but with the coupon discount, we had another $10.60 deducted. So, the bill was $217. I felt it was cheap for the seafood we had. There were a few that I have not had and definitely will be back before the promotion of 50% discount on live seafood ends in March. Baked oysters, braised abalone and etc......
Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant
241 Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim
#01-01 The Village
Singapore 629143
Tel: 6265 8218

227. The Queen & Mangosteen

It has been a while since I have last visited Vivocity. I was there on the eve of V-day. My friend did some research and he recommended this place, The Queen & Mangosteen. I didn't know that there is this new restaurant opened in Vivocity other than the Japanese corner. To my surprise, there are a few other new restaurants too, for eg. Brozeit, The serenity corner and etc. The name of this restaurant is pretty interesting. Mangosteen aka queen of the fruits but why The Queen & Mangosteen?
The front of the restaurant occupies a waiting area furnished like those of European's living room. I thought it was quite a waste of space. An old-style tuckshop-like setting welcomed us in the centre of the restaurant from the waiting area. We were ushered to the outdoor tables of al fresco setting as there weren't sufficient tables. There were at most 5 tables on the both sides in the centre of the restaurant. The common walkway leaded us to a open bar counter. A big chandelier hung on the above. 6 of us squeezed at a table and the tall bar stools which was supposed to have catered to maybe 3-4 persons and with the food we have ordered, the table was too small and I thought the whole lot of us looked pretty pathetic. It was more of a table for people who were there to chill out.
We ordered a jug of Pimm's and Lemonade @$35, a sort of fruit punch with a kick of very low alcholic content. It had shreds of strawberry fruit, cucumber and lemon skin. Pretty refreshing. We didn't go for the handicrafted Archipelago beers. But someone next table ordered them. Each was contained in a 3 mouthfuls glass. 5-6 varieties.
Mini Hamburgers @$16
Coupled with a bucket of fries. The mini hamburgers were delicious! The beef patty was juicy and tender soft. Addition of mayonnaise, tomato sauce and tomato slice. Simple but nice.
Mash and Mangers
German sausages and potato mash, toppled with a few calamari rings and drizzed with brown onion sauce. It wasn't exceptionally great nor was it a flop. Just a mediocre dish.

Mussels with bread stix
The mussels were big and the meat was firm. The only flaw for this dish was there was a strong fishy seafood smell. The chef could have mishandled the mussels a little. Maybe add a little more brandy or lemon to remove the smell. Tomato base wasn't too sour.

Chicken Wings with Hoisin Sauce
The wings were good. Crispy fried. Tasted a little sweet and sour. A dish to go with beer.
It was a disappointment that the pictures didn't turn out well as they were taken with my camera phone. The nokia E-series didn't have great camera features. Added the area we were seated were with very dim lightings and thus the poorly taken pictures.
Our bill worked out to be $122+ for 6 pax. Though we weren't very comfy in our bar top stools and limited space, the food was at least a consolation. It wasn't too pricey too.

The Queen & Mangosteen
1 HarbourFront Walk
Tel: 6376 9380

Saturday, February 14, 2009

226. Raj Restaurant

Raj is specially known for the North Indian curries with their delectable but unique taste, and well remembered for their fragrance from the spices used. The list of items on their menu is quite extensive. Sadas, masalas, rotis, naans....many to choose from.

I had the cheese tomato masala @$6.40. The masala that I had at Sheraton Towers Hotel's buffet was a dough like bun. However, the masala which I had at Raj was more of a tissue prata kind. It was a very big triangular pan-fried crepe with a thin spread of cheese, diced tomatoes and a small curried potato mash wrapped in between. Coupled with condiments like curry sauce, yogurt which was mixed with shallots and some others which I could not make out and also the greenish one which I felt had contained parsley that gave a mild choking effect.
It may have looked thin but it was fulfilling for a lunch. It wasn't too oily nor over-powering with the spices. With GST, it worked out to about $7.40. I felt it was quite reasonable. Service was good. The waiters were pretty sensitive in attending to customers. However, some of us had asked for warm plain water while some wanted chilled. When the plain water was served, all of the glasses were just plain water at room temperature and yet the waiter claimed they were warm water.

Raj Restaurant
20 Biopolis Way
#01-03 Centros Block
Singapore 138668
Tel: 6478 9495
Fax: 6478 9441

Saturday, February 7, 2009

225. Satowa Hokkaido Cuisine

Satowa @China Square. It was after office hours. The restaurants at nankin row were either filled with people or with not a single soul. But most were empty. I spotted Satowa at the end of nankin row and headed in without hesitation. Greeted by two female waitresses and the chef himself. One thing I admire about Japanese in terms of food is they are very particular with food. When they open up eateries or restaurants, of manageable size, most of the time, it is a one-man show. The boss cooks, cut, dices, boils, prepares everything by himself. Very family oriented, Satowa is no exception.
Corn Korokke @$11.50
I liked the korokke. Filled with corn. Served crispy and hot. The sauce was a with a tad of sourness to balance the overall taste. It's a must-try!

Chirashi don @$33

I had the chirashi don. It came together with a bowl of miso vegetable soup filled with sliced carrots and white radish. There was a small chunk of salmon in it. I thought it was great because it was not the usual miso soup but rather with more ingredients added. It wasn't salty and complemented the chirashi don well. If you ask me, I would say the chirashi don was a small portion. The sashimi was thinly sliced. They were fresh, no doubt. Overall taste was great though.
If you are there at lunch, you could have got a better offer from their set lunch courses at a mere $20++. I was there at dinner. I felt it was slightly pricey. The chef moved from his working kitchen to the cashier when I picked up my bill. The chef asked me how do I feel. I understood that he had meant how did the food fare and I replied "ii desu". It meant good in Japanese. I saw a smile beamed across the chef's face. What's more than a compliment on the food for chefs?
Satowa Hokkaido Cuisine
Pickering Street
#01-44/45 China Square Central
Nankin Row
Tel: 6534 9882
Mon-Sat: 11.30am-2.30pm, 6pm-10pm (Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays)

224. Secret Recipe

Tea-time special. A cuppa tea and a piece of cake for $5.90. It was a great deal. Sad to say, you are only entitled to this deal only if you are available for tea, 3-5pm. This is quite impossible for the working class, unless you have the authority to leave your working grounds. I chose the chocolate banana cake, the recommended cake on the menu. Secret Recipe is known for this cake. Apparently, the ones which are recommended may not turn out to be the best. I felt the chocolate sponge was a tad dry, the bananas were slit into halves and I thought it was of the right size. The texture was there. Any smaller would have give a different texture and I felt, not for the better. My friend thought otherwise. She felt it should have been cut smaller. The distribution of cream was of the right amount. I got a cuppa of hot peppermint tea to cleanse my palate.

Secret Recipe
Holland Grove 42
Holland Grove Road
Singapore 278810
Tel: 68751233

Sunday, February 1, 2009

223. Oh Carol! Cafe Bistro

Set at a corner of the Centros building of Biopolis, the ground floor restaurant faces an open stretch of greenery which offers diners a meal with a view. A quiet café-cum-bistro, Oh Carol! offers dine-in patrons with a selection of western and Asian fare. A couple of us were attracted to the pasta that other diners were having when we walked past at lunch hours. I apologized for the poor resolution of my camera phone. I had only realised that I could press a key to adjust the focus. Hope that I could take better pictures with my camera phone the next time when I didn't have my compact digicam or DSLR with me.

Seafood Marinara @$14.90
I didn't want a creamy base pasta though I thought it looked very appetizing. The thought of feeling nauseous put the idea off. I needed concentration at work. I repeat, I'm a pasta person, if you have not been reading my entries. Naturally, I will go for pasta over other mains if I were to choose. It was pretty relaxing to have lunch over at Biopolis. It was windy, quiet and definitely the al-fresco environment which doesn't make my clothes stink of greasy smoke is another plus.
I felt the penne was not thoroughly cooked. Still hard. Seafood should have been fresh but I doubt they have gone to the expense to get fresh ingredients. Most were frozen goods. So, the overall taste wasn't good. Pretty much a letdown for this dish of pasta. With the addition of GST, I personally felt the pasta wasn't a very worthwhile dish.
20 Biopolis Way
Singapore 138668
Tel: 64789945