Saturday, March 28, 2009

240. Ajisen Ramen Restaurant

White Fish
The white fish was an ala-carte dish that comes with the set meal consisting of a ramen and a drink. I didn't take a picture of the ramen. The Ajisen in Singapore has never wowed me. I felt the ramen is not quite there. I'm not sure if I'm too picky, I find the ramen a tad hard. It was not springy but rather I had the feel that it was not cooked thoroughly.
Well, at least the side dishes were not too bad. Just that I find the varieties were quite limited. On the menu, many were not available.
Corn Salad @$5.80
2 crab sticks, corn, sliced cucumber and a spoonful of roe. Nothing much special but it was fulfilling enough for a snack.
Cold Tofu @$3.80
I loved the cold tofu! The sauce had a mild seducing tinge of sourness (I suppose they used vinegar), together with the fragrant of the sesame oil, miso paste and the sesame seeds, the cold tofu became a light side dish which I think is very suitable for the ladies on diet.

Frankly speaking, eating at the local Ajisen made me recall the Ajisen in Shanghai. The food at Ajisen in Shanghai is cheap. Same portion, more varieties and yet at a cheaper price! And they served pickled cucumbers. If you happened to go Shanghai, do check out the Ajisen there!

Friday, March 27, 2009

239. Pizza Hut

Soup of the day- Chicken soup
Oriental Chicken Baked Rice

Wanted to go budget on lunch so I got it settled at Pizza Hut. Student meal. A choice of main, soup and free-flow pepsi at $5.90, subjected to GST. Ordered the Oriental chicken baked rice. I remembered my previous visit, a friend ordered baked rice and we waited for at least 30 mins before she finally got her baked rice. Of course, she was famished by that time. Surprisingly, today, my baked rice came pretty fast. They delivered the baked rice as promised, 7-15 mins.
The oriental chicken baked rice consisted of chunks of tomatoes and chicken. Sauce was tomato and it was spicy. I felt the spiciness was a tad too much and I wouldn't recommend it for kids. Luckily, the pepsi was free-flow. Pizza Hut has always served food which are very well-flavoured. Of course, no denial, with the help of MSG. One thing to note, I felt Pizza Hut has improved on the quantity of the food and of course on the price with the great deals. Student meals, 1 for 1 and etc. My lunch cost $7 which I felt was pretty worthwhile.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

238. Prince Porridge House

There's no lack of food in Bukit Timah area. Along Cheong Chin Nam road, there is a stretch of restaurants. Taiwanese, Teochew, Korean, Hong Kong, Malay, Japanese, Indian food, whatever you want, you can get it there. This scorching afternoon, 4 of us decided to lunch at the Taiwanese porridge restaurant at Cheong Chin Nam road.
On arrival, there was only 2 persons dining in there whereas the other eateries alongside had more people. We went ahead and settle down anyway. The sweet potato porridge. We didn't want to have it because of the sitcom that was aired on Channel 5. Stickier and thick. The sweet potato porridge cost $0.80 per bowl and it's free-flow.

Fried Kang Kong with garlic @$6

It was just like home fried kang kong. Not that it was good but rather I see no difference if I were the chef. I could cook a plate of kang kong like this too.
'Three cups' chicken @$8

'Three cups' (in Chinese : 三杯) is a very common style of cooking in Taiwan. In fact, having been to Taiwan a few times, I noticed on the Taiwanese menus, there are always 'Three cups' style chicken, 'Three cups' style seafood and etc. 'Three cups' was derived from the 3 essential condiments, namely sesame oil, soy sauce and Chinese wine. However, I felt the significant ingredient of this dish lies in the use of fresh basil leaves. Some may find the choking smell of the basil unbearable. This was what happened to me at first but the more I had, the more I grow to like it. Without the taste of the basil leaves, 'Three cups' would not have been 'Three cups'.

The chicken were fried beforehand before they were braised in the 3 essential condiments. If you have noticed, the above dish did not consist of any basil leaves. Because of this, I felt the dish was not so relevant to its name.

Chye-poh egg @$3.50
I doubt the chye-poh egg was appealing at all. The egg was presented almost like charred on the exterior and it seemed like some rotten eggs fried. It was a flop.
Seafood Braised Tofu @$8

The gravy was red due to the chili sauce added. Slight greasy. Tasted of the vinegar from the chili sauce instead the seafood. It was not nice at all. I felt I had an overdose of chili and vinegar though it was not of extreme spiciness.

Our bill chalked up to be $35+ with a serving of their herbal jelly ($3.50) and a ginseng chrysanthemum drink ($3). No GST and service charge. Overall, food was below average. Only the porridge was commendable. If you ask me, I would not visit it again. The dishes were not good enough for a return visit.
Prince Porridge House
9 Cheong Chin Nam Road
Tel: 6467 0289
Opens: 11am - 3pm
5.30pm - 3am Daily

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

237. Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant II

Mini egg tartlets @$3.20
It was surprisingly good, better than I had expected it to be. The crust was thin. I disliked buttery crust, especially those that made the throat dry. Custard was not too sweet and the texture was soft and yet firm.
Beancurd wrap
It had mushrooms and shrimps wrapped in beancurd skin. I personally didn't like to eat beancurd skin but this tasted nice. The beancurd wrap was first fried before it was steamed. Usually, there will be a greasy oil taste if the oil that was used to fry the food was reused but for this, there wasn't.
Salt and pepper tofu cubes @$4.80
I loved this. The tofu cubes were fried till crispy on the exterior and the tofu inside was very silky. They simply melted in my mouth. The only thing I felt could be improvised was the garlic they had used. Does salt and pepper dish consists of garlic?? Anyway, they had added garlic and I supposed the garlic was over fried a little which resulted in a mild charred taste. But it tasted alright if the garlic bits was not eaten. Pepper taste was not very evident though.
Spinach in stock
It was good. I had it the last time so I shan't repeat my comments again.
Cheese baked oysters @$7 per se
The oysters were fresh and cheap. Have them the cheese baked style somehow didn't wow me. The amount of cheese and mayonnaise was too much and covered the taste of the oysters. The overall taste was pretty bland too. Maybe I should not have ordered cheese baked style at restaurants where chefs were more apt at Chinese dishes. Have them fresh could have been better.
Black vinegar pig trotters
It was not exceptionally good but acceptable. I didn't want to say it was just mediocre because I know I have tasted worse off ones. Either the black vinegar was too sourish or too bland. This was alright. I felt it lacked the oomph. Wasn't cooked long enough. It was considered to be one of the side dishes for dim sum, I supposed only available during the dim sum hours.
Crabs with vermicelli
Delicious! The vermicelli was very well-flavoured with the crab. Crab meat was firm and juicy. Yummy! My previous visit, the crabs were priced at a exceptionally low price, even lower than those available at the tze char stalls at coffeeshops. It was a great deal to have the crabs but I didn't have them the last time. So, I did this time round but the price went up and it was equivalent to those at the coffeeshops but hey....we had them in a restaurant so it was still considered a good deal.

Fried banana balls with red bean
I liked this for the great combination. It was not too sweet. Having been fried, the banana would have excreted a slight sour taste but the use of the sweet red bean paste covered up the sour taste and made the whole fried ball a great snack. The exterior was crispy and the thin bread crust wasn't oil-laden.

This meal was eaten some time ago. Lost the receipt and thus some of the prices were recalled based on memory. But I did remember that our bill didn't exceed $100. Overall, the food was decent and good. They were affordable as well.

See previous entry.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

236. Pioneer Wharf

I didn't know of Pioneer Wharf being located at Jurong Point because I have never walked all the way to the far end to where it was. It was quite a grand appearance which would have caused money-savers to deter and pushed off the idea of having a meal there. It was a big restaurant with at least 8 ktv rooms to spare. On enquiry, the minimum spending to be entitled to the ktv room is $498. WOO..
The blinds separated the big hall of tables into half. Chandeliers hung on the tall ceilings. Loud red napkins and silver white table clothes decorated the whole restaurant. It gave a classy feel. Ktv songs played on the white screen on the wall. However, the songs were pretty outdated and it did spoil the classy feel a little.

Braised peanuts and specially made 'hay-bee-hiam'
The waitress said the 'hay-bee-hiam' was made with golden ham and she sounded it was something special. Alright, we'll try it. Shortly after, she mentioned it cost $2 for this plate. Okay, we'll take it anyway. But, it tasted just like 'hay-bee-hiam'! So, what's so special about it? It cost.
Japanese style beancurd @$12
A common dish of beancurd where broccoli was blended to mash and formed the green top layer of the tofu. Generous helping of mushrooms. It was decent. The tofu was silky.
Peking Duck (half) @$28
We were pretty surprised that the restaurant actually served peking ducks in halves. Usually, one would have to order the duck whole. The duck skin was wrapped up with cucumber and spring onion. The wraps were not very well wrapped. Duck skin was crispy and if it wasn't, then it would be a flop. Frankly speaking, I had only like to eat peking duck for the wraps and not the meat. I'm not very much a duck-lover.

How could the meat be forsaken? The meat was stir-fried with spring onions and it cost another $10. I felt slightly cheated because the waitress told us half the duck cost $28. Wasn't the cost included for the meat? It didn't taste like duck meat though. It was tender. For a moment, I thought it was chicken.

Mango scallop vegetables (small) @$25
Scallops with asparagus and mango fruits added. Surprisingly, the mango taste was not evident. They have chosen sweet and firm mangoes to go along with the greens. It was overall a light and delicious dish. Just a tad pricey.
Fried chicken wraps @$6 ($2 per se)
Wrapped with diced chicken and mushrooms. The ingredients were very well-marinated and thus well-flavoured. But, it was oil-laden. I didn't expect oil to have spilled out like soup from the xiao long bao. I could have exaggerated here a bit but the amount of oil spilled was quite gross. Thus, this wasn't very much to my liking.

Yam paste (small) @$18
The waiter recommended the yam paste as one of their signature dessert dish. So, we ordered the small portion. Per pax was $6 per se so it was more worthwhile to get the small portion. The only difference I could make out was they had finely diced water chestnuts added to their yam paste. But, it wasn't exceptionally good. The yam paste wasn't even piping hot. I felt the yam paste could have been sweeter. If you ask me, I would rate the yam paste as below average.

Our bill chalked up to $129.70 for 3 pax. Indeed, it was expensive. Food was decent. Service was good.
Pioneer Wharf
Jurong Point Shopping Centre
Tel: 6861 6833

235. Long Beach Seafood Restaurant

It would have been much better if we were given this table. More privacy and definitely we would have dined at ease. The tables at the side were with built-in cushions and separated from the next table by a motif designed glass pane. When 3 of us got to the restaurant, the restaurant was not filled yet. Just a few steps away to the entrance, 3 of us were ushered to the first table which sat directly in front of the entrance. It was a big table, suffice to seat 10 persons but it didn't strike us that we should change to another table.
The thought of having to seat the 3 of us to the big cushion table didn't seem reasonable to me too. Then, near the peak dinner time, a queue formed at the entrance and so did our food arrived. It was then I felt rather uneasy. As we were eating, the people queuing a few steps away from us were staring at us. And a family of 4 was ushered to the cushion table. I thought it would have been better if we were ushered there instead.
Braised ee-fu noodles @$10
It was mediocre. I would say it was comforting that it was not bland. I felt it was not easy to cook a plate of delicious ee-fu noodles. Ee-fu noodles by nature is bland. If one cooks it for too long, it turns soggy and vice-versa, it would have been too oily if one adds too much oil to keep it from clotting together. The main ingredient of this dish is the oyster sauce. Sometimes, I felt the restaurants could have added more ingredients to the noodles instead of just the mushrooms.
Broccoli with garlic @$10
'Bushes' of greens cooked the simple way.

Handmade Tofu @$8 (one for $2)
The exterior was crispy. The interior was not exceptionally silky but acceptable. A miser serving of the thai sweet and sour sauce drizzled over the tofu, topped with thinly sliced cucumber and pork floss sprinkled on the toppest. Overall, it was nice but could have been better. $2 for one square of tofu was a tad pricey. It was just probably a quarter portion of a $1 tofu slab we could get in the wet market.

Roasted chicken (half) @$16

Halved the chicken, pls. It was a small chicken. Looking at the chicken when it was served, I knew I should not have high expectations. Indeed, it was just mediocre. So far, the roasted chicken at Boon Lay Raja Restaurant is still the best. Juicy, tender and definitely cheaper than Long Beach.

Our bill worked out to be $58.30. A simple fare and it cost nearly $20 per pax for the food we had. Considering the economy, it would definitely be a wiser choice to have had home cooked dinner than had dinner at Long Beach.

Long Beach Seafood Restaurant

IMM Building (Next to rooftop garden)
Tel: 6566 9933

Friday, March 20, 2009

234. Thai Express

Tom Yum Talay @$6.90

Beef noodles @$10.90

The broth of the beef noodles was darker than those served at other restaurants. The beef taste was quite mild. Nor was the cilantro strong enough. Added a spoonful of fried shallots to garnish made the bowl of beef noodles rather greasy. There was a generous amount of thinly sliced beef. A disappointment was the beef noodles wasn't served hot at all. So, this bowl of beef noodles was a bit not here and there. Lacked the oomph and presentation. If you ask my preference, it's Siam Kitchen's beef noodles.

Poo Nim Phat Phrik Thai Dam @$10.90
Black Pepper Soft-shell Crab Rice

Poo Phat Pong Kari @$10.90
Curried Soft-shell Crab with Eggs and Onions
Comments reserved for the rest.

Thai Express
Raffles City Shopping Centre
The Raffles MarketPlace
252 North Bridge Road
B1-13/14 Singapore 179103
Tel: 65-6883 1490
Operating Hour:Monday to Thursday and
Sunday 11.30am to 10.30pm
Last Order at 10.00pm
Friday and Saturday 11.30am to 11.00pm
Last Order 10.30pm

233. Tony Roma's

Passed by Tony Roma's many times but not even once did I step into it for a meal. Thanks to my colleague who gave me a discount voucher for their St Louis-Style ribs that I have decided to make my way there for a meal of ribs. It was very spacious inside. I was ushered to the leather cushion seats which was quite like the stand-alone America fast food chains.

Complimentary mini loaf of baguette with butter and herbs
Carolina Honeys (Half-slab) @$19.90
In fact, I felt the mains they served are priced higher than most restaurants. My makan kaki and I were there for just their St Louis-style ribs and nothing else. Not that only the ribs were nice but rather the ribs were all that we wanted. The crux of this dish is the BBQ sauce they have smeared on the ribs. The ribs were basted with honey and molasses. Each entree was served with 2 choices of side dishes and I had french fries and cole slaw. The pork ribs were tender and well-marinated. The meat was lean with minimum amount of fats. Despite so, it wasn't dry. It was delicious and even greater with a glass of fizzy drink to cleanse the pork grease and sweetness from the sauces. The cole slaw was rather different from the usual we had. It had citron black pepper added to it. It was quite nice.
Tony Roma's Red Hot (Half-slab) @$19.90

This was with a zesty blend of chili pepper, black pepper, crushed red peppers, chipotle peppers and tabasco sauce. Now, you would have thought the ribs would be freaking hot with the whole load of peppers added. No. It was just a mild hot taste. A little spice added and yet not to destroy the taste of the BBQ sauce smeared on the ribs. I liked this better. The minimal spiciness triggered the taste buds more.

With a 40% discount for weekdays (Mon-Thurs) on their St Louis-style ribs, the bill worked out to be $28.10 for 2 pax. It was just a mere $14 for Tony Roma's ribs! It was a great deal! When we walked out at 7.30pm, the queue outside was amazingly long. I bet many were there for the 40% discount. For Fri-Sun, only 30% discount offered. Discount offers valid till 31 Mar 2009.

Tony Roma's
Suntec City Mall
3 Temasek Boulevard
#B1-007 Singapore 038983
Tel: (65) 6337 9055
Fax (65) 6337 9722
Operating Hours: 11.30am - 3.00pm (Mon - Thur)
6.00pm - 10.00pm (Mon - Thur)
11.30am - 10.00pm (Fri - Sun)