Wednesday, September 30, 2009

326. Peach Garden Lotus Paste with Double Yolks Mooncakes

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I tried it quite some time ago when I went to Peach Garden for dim sum. This time round, it was a gift. I was surprised when I saw the yin-yang fillings. Not that I have not seen before but rather it seemed that the others aren't doing this anymore. The red bean paste and the lotus paste, together with the melon seeds. I felt the addition of red bean paste made the mooncake not so dull. However, the mooncake crust was made too thin and a little oily.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

325. 717 Trading Mini Snowskin Durian Mooncakes

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D24 Durian mooncakes 9 pcs @$38

It is known that Goodwood Park Hotel's signature desserts have to do with durian. This year, they introduced a combination of durian, cempedek, mango and soursop @$44. Goodwood Park Hotel's snowskin mooncakes were all sold out when I went to visit the booth they had set up in Lot One mall. I got to taste the cempedek from the sampling tray and from the box that my colleague bought but I was not attracted to it. It was filled with the cempedek fruit, was pulpy with the fruit flesh but I felt the taste was a little weird. I still didn't manage to get to taste the durian mooncake!

The durian mooncakes from 717 was one that I felt tasted fully of durian pulp. Some others (not to compare it with big brands) that I have tasted was mixed with lotus paste and as a result, tasted like durian cake (those brown chewy kind) wrapped in snowskin. However, I felt 717's mooncakes were a tad overpriced for the size was just 'pop-in-your-mouth' and it's gone!

Today, I tasted Fullerton Hotel's snowskin mooncakes which consisted of blueberry, cranberry, apple and chocolate with bailey flavours in a box @$52. I was immediately attracted to the mooncakes. The snowskin was soft and it just simply melted in my mouth. Good gracious that sugar was not 'poured' into the paste fillings. I wanted more.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

324. Kim's Family Restaurant

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I passed by Kim's a few times. It is so near my house and yet I have no idea how 'hot' it has been until I visited it last night. The small eatery was flooded with customers and many were koreans. Fellow floggers have raved so much about the place and I said I must try it some day. The lauded pan-chan (the whole salted fish) was not served for dinner. Was it just served during lunch? Some of the pan-chan were nice and some not.

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The one that particularly caught my attention was this piece of pancake alike food. It tasted floury and it was with a tad of chewiness but it was like our chye-po egg with the salted vegetables in it. I didn't like it.

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Tteokbokki @$10

This is a must try! They even had ra myeon added. I for once felt like I was in Korea but the spiciness brought me back to reality. Still, it was very shiok!! Best eaten when it's piping hot.

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Bibimnang Myeon @$10

This is the reverse of Tteokbokki. It was chilled. The cold noodles were a tad too much and there weren't much ingredients other than the few strips of cucumber, pear and half an egg. Should be mixed quickly, else the noodles will stick together into a lump and mixing becomes hard. I felt they should have cut the noodles to make eating easier. The chili paste was spicy!

Total bill was $38.50 for 2 pax with a 10% service charge but no GST eh? Overall, my friend and I felt the food was cheap. There was also BBQ but it was also this that made the whole place smoky and yet poor ventilation.

2 couples (all girls) cut our queue. We were there before them and when they reached the place, they simply ignored the people waiting in the queue and walked to settle down at the tables when the lady boss had just clear it. Where are their manners? The owner's son aka the cashier did nothing and showed us a helpless expression. I was disappointed with the increased number of ugly Singaporeans, counting from my past experiences.

I personally felt to have better presented food or to get the best deal, it may be wiser to visit Kim's at lunch time on weekdays when it is not so crowded. The place was very untidy and uncomfortable when it was very crowded. I went to the toilet, it was also very dirty.

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Kim's Family Restaurant
17 Lorong Kilat #01-06
Singapore 598139
Tel: 6465 0535

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Monday, September 21, 2009

323. Pu Tien

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"Pu Tien" Style Century Egg @$7

If you are wondering if century egg has transformed, my answer is they have been disguised. They are battered and coated with sweet and sour sauce. Due to the deep-fry process, the surface of the egg white of the century egg became harder to chew. The sweet and sour sauce was just a mere thin coat. Even as this was so, the taste and pungent smell of the century egg was completely disguised. Not so shiok!

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Stir-fried Greens @$12
The plate of greens looked pathetic and the cost of $12 for that quantity was definitely a tad too expensive.

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Deep Fried Pig's Trotters with Pepper @$3.80/pc

The trotters were calling out to me. They were fried till very crispy and you just want to have more. It was not oily and there was not much fats. 'The coast is clear', ladies. It is very considerate of Pu Tien to provide plastic gloves for this dish. It would have been troublesome to have forks and knives with the chopsticks and etc on the table just to have the trotters. Let's have it the primitive way but with hygiene.

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Claypot Sea Cucumber with Chestnut @$32

It was good with rice. With the roasted chestnuts and mushrooms, the oyster sauce gravy was very fragrant.

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"Pu Tien" Lor Mee @$12

One of the chef's specialities. It was really good. Especially with their chili sauce. Yummy! $12 portion can serve 6 pax.

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Homemade Beancurd @$12

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Braised Beancurd with Chinese Cabbage @$18

Chinese cabbage was cooked till soft. The sweetness from the clams and cabbage went into the soup. The soup thus had a natural sweetness.

The total bill was about $120 after a 10% discount with Passion card. Their VIP card has to give way for Passion card. It is recommended to make reservations, else you may have to wait for quite some time. The branch at Kitchener road provides free valet parking as it is located along the roadside where finding a parking lot is very much a hassle.

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Pu Tien
127 Kitchener Road
Singapore 208514
Tel: 6295 6358

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Friday, September 18, 2009

321. The French Stall

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A friend of mine highly recommended this place because his friend highly recommended it to him. It all started with passing words through the mouths and we decided to check out the place. Located just by the roadside, one can easily spot The French Stall.

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Garlic Bread

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One of my friends decided to change his leek salad to escargots as he has not tried escargots before. He said it tasted a tad like mussels and I joked they are snails but with a nicer name. I would say they have similar texture. The escargots were hidden in the mini greenish mud pool. There was a mild mint taste which I guessed was probably to rid off the soil smell.

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French Onion Soup

All of us ordered the executive set meal which consisted of an entree, a main and a cake. I liked the french onion soup. It was sweet and the onion boiled till soft turned pulpy and the cheese that melted in the soup. It warmed the hungry stomach.

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Homemade Suckling Pork Terrine @$8.80

It was very similar to the Teochew's pork trotters jelly. The Teochew's has had more gelatin in it. The one here had much lesser gelatin. Shredded suckling pork was shredded and some not and they were all pressed together, presented like a piece of pork cake with mustard sauce. Nevertheless, it was something new to me. Still, I preferred the Teochew's which is dipped with the vinegary chili sauce.

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Grilled Beef Sirloin Steak (200g) @$25.80++ (with soup and cake)

I had mine grilled till medium. The meat was tender and juicy. I liked the sauteed potato slices cooked with thyme. It was very fragrant and it made the starchy potato flavourful. In fact, the price for the executive meal is quite standard but judging from the slab of steak, it looked like it was quite a good deal afterall. Just that, if there were some greens, it would have been better.

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Pan Fried Salmon

The salmon which looked so normal was actually very good at disguising itself. The exterior looked like it was grilled until a tad dry but no, it was soft and moist on the interior and it melts in the mouth. The salmon taste was strong. I felt I was eating it raw.

The executive meals included a dessert which is chocolate cake for the beef sirloin steak set and honey cheesecake for the salmon set. I didn't manage to get a good photo of the cakes due to the poor lightings so I am not posting them up. Simple cakes.

The French Stall has a laidback environment which made diners felt relaxed. The staffs were friendly too. Overall, the bill cost about $130. Thanks for the treat, my friend.

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The French Stall
544 Serangoon Road
Opening Hours: 3-6pm (for desserts)
6-10pm (for dinner)
Tel: 62993544

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

320. Watami

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The loud red walls called out WATAMI. I have not visited the first outlet at ION despite its grand opening in July 09 nor did I know that 和民 is Watami until the familiar Japanese characters told me so. The saturday prior to its opening on 15 Sep, I was invited for a tasting session at Watami's second outlet at Clarke Quay.

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Green Tea Ice Shake @$5.80

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Half Watami Salad @$4.80

A garden salad with big chunks of well marinated chicken and a scoop of Watami's special creation - Tuna Mayonnaise. The salad was delicious with the tuna mayonnaise. It had a mild vinegary taste and the addition of peppers, cherry tomatoes and cracker strips gave the salad the crunch and colour. Flavourful and satisfying. It was this good that I recommend you should double the 'half' and get a watami salad at $7.80.

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Ika Korikori Yaki @$5.80

Grilled squid soft bone. It was something different. We're not just eating ika (squid) but also their soft bones.Eat it while it's hot. I took some time to take the photos of the food that were placed on the table and when I had it, it turned cold. I bet it tasted better while it's still hot.

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Ishiyaki Bibimbap @$8.80

You are not seeing wrong. Yes, bibimbap, the Korean stone pot rice dish. Here, we had beef and kimchi. It was very considerate of them to design a wooden square holder to contain the hot stone pot, avoiding scalds. It was superb hot. The ingredients sizzled as I flipped and tossed them like rojak.

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It was this hot that the rice turned charred and crispy after a few minutes. For crispy and charred rice lovers, do try the bibimbap. For the hot stone pot and tasty kimchi, I highly recommend the bibimbap from Watami.

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Tori Yasai Kushi @$3.80

Big chunks of mildly marinated chicken with mixed peppers. Logically, the mixed peppers should complement the chicken chunks but they were pretty much strangers. Each to its own, they drew a clear line. Taste was quite isolated.

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Teppan Bou Gyoza @$6.80

I was attracted to the picture of the sizzling big gyoza on their menu and so I decided to order one. I thought I will see the gyoza sizzling on the hotplate but the 'aftermath' was presented instead. On the hot plate, I saw a gleam. It appeared shiny black, all thanks to the layer of oil. I find the gyoza slightly too oily. I feedbacked on this. Hope that it is better now. The interior contained diced cabbage and pork but somehow I felt the cabbage did not made the filling sweet.

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Cassis Grapefruit @$5.80

I'm glad that I had this drink. The bittersour grapefruit helped rid off the greasiness from the gyoza. The sweet syrup at the bottom less the bittersour content.

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Mango & Ichigo Daifuku @$3.80

Initially, I was hesitating if I should take the daifuku or I should change it for some alluring desserts like strawberry or chocolate parfait because I always felt the daifuku served in casual restaurants were mostly made-ready some very long time ago and stored for use at any time. Luckily, I didn't. The daifuku was different.

The rice cake was made into thin, soft and chewy strips. Diced mango and strawberry cubes, cream and red beans were evidently seen to be wrapped into rolls with the rice cake. But hey, I tasted chocolate and I saw there was a thin chocolate sponge at the bottom of the roll. Overall, the taste was great!

Seated at the second floor of Central, it overlooks the Boat Quay. Dining was comfortable as ample space was provided, not squeezed together. Service was excellent during the tasting session but not sure if it will be maintained when Watami is opened for business to the public with the long queue. Good range of food is available. Looking at the menu, I felt Watami wants a bit of everything, trying to provide anything that can be made possible. Ramen, hotplate, sushi, sashimi, Nabe, Korean dishes and etc.

No reservations is allowed so it is best to go early to avoid queuing. The outlet at The Central has something different from its first outlet at ION, that is, a long red sofa at the entrance is provided for customers in the queue. Also, Watami's entrance is located along a corridor hidden from sight from the other floors. Do look out for the word 和民, which also means Watami.

Lastly, Thanks to Watami and Kit for the hosting.

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The Central
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
Singapore 059817

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Monday, September 14, 2009

319. Manhattan Fish Market

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Garden salad with citrus dressing

Salads...have always loved salads, easy to make but always have the whole lettuce plant to myself and I couldn't finish it. What a waste. Sometimes, it will be better off to just have it outside. So, my friend and I decided to try something different, instead of the usual fave-caesar salad. Citrus dressing was just citrus juice with olive oil. So, the salad was not really special in anyway.

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Shrimp Soup

So you thought that this was the bosch or tomato soup? No, it wasn't. It was shrimp soup. I asked the waitress because it did not taste like any of the two. I thought it tasted a bit weird. It was pulpy but the shrimp taste was very bland.

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Country Mushrooms

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Grilled Platter for One

The grilled platter was good. I liked the garlic rice which was mixed with cream sauce drizzled onto the grilled prawns. The rice was sticky and chewy like having had mixed with coconut milk like the Thai glutinous rice dessert. The fries were fat and crispy. We added $4.90 to the dish to make it a meal with the shrimp soup and a tall glass of ice lemon tea.

My friend and I paid about $15 each with her $10 voucher for the food we shared. It was a long wait to get a table. It is just like the second Fish & Co. Although there were many young waiters and waitresses, service was not as prompt. I requested water for my friends at the point of order and requested again for another 2 times before I got my water. It was minutes after we finished our food.

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Manhattan Fish Market
68 Orchard Road #06-07
Plaza Singapura
Tel: 6835-9300

Thursday, September 10, 2009

318. Raffles Hotel - Snow-Skin Mooncake with Champagne Truffle & Ganache

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Snow-Skin Mooncake with Champagne Truffle & Ganache 8pcs @$52

The mooncake festival is here again. In celebration of the mooncake festival, we get to savour all kinds of mooncakes. This year, the first one that I have tasted was the snow-skin mooncake with Champagne Truffle & Ganache, the highly sought-after mooncake from the prestagious Raffles Hotel.

The small sized mooncake was filled with lotus paste and in the centre, a vanilla truffle filled with vanilla ganache. The snow skin was exceptionally soft and light. The lotus paste was not too sweet and it complemented well with the vanilla flavour. In fact, the champagne taste was rather light.

Someone said he do not go for such mooncakes when offered. He preferred the traditional kind. Baked. His words struck me to connect the taste of the mooncake to romantic. Gentle and dainty sweet~

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

317. Mart Boulevard II

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Phad Thai @$4.90

I would like to call it the Thai char kway tiao. No cockles, no sausages and no black sauce. In place, there were tofu, crushed peanuts and fish sauce. This is Phad Thai. A simple dish it is, yet one of the national dishes of Thai. Phad Thai is sweet because of the addition of fish sauce (which I felt is the crux condiment) and for some had added sugar. I like the Phai Thai served here. It was delicious. The fish sauce was not overpowering. The slight sourish taste due to the tamarind juice made the phad thai appetizing. The only flaw I found was it was not served piping hot and this led me to suspect the food was pre-cooked to handle the lunch crowd. Probably.

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Thai Fish Cakes @$5.50

News headline. "Counsellor attacked by patient, Manslaughter murderer on the prowl".

Victim: Foodies Queen, the counsellor.
Weapon: Fish bones.
Murderer's Features: 'Notorious'. Clad in a rugged attire, skinny and not highly distinctive. Accompanied by a sexy partner.
Victim's Statement: I adviced and talked to him. I thought I have pried his heart, I saw his inner soul, unbothered by his unappealing appearance. I urged his sexy partner to stick through thin and thick with him. He looked like a simple man. But....never did I think of his sudden attack against me.

If you see the above murderer, please report.

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Green Chicken Curry w rice @$5.90

The green curry did not look appealing but do not judge by its appearance because it is definitely not that yucky. I am not sure if it is the same across all Thai restaurants to cook curry using a high content of coconut milk but the one here did. It was fragrant and sweet. My mum always say to cook tasty curry, you need to add more sugar and coconut milk. I did not eat the green curry but I saw lots of onions in it. Onions will make the gravy sweet. Just like when you cook vegetables curry, the vegetables which were fried will give a sweet taste than those not.

3 of us had a quick lunch which cost in total about $25. To me, Mart Boulevard is a Thai food restaurant with Indochina setting and yet working in an express mode during lunch. There was also the al-alfresco dining area outside the restaurant. I preferred to sit indoors with the intricate sculptures keeping me occupied while waiting for my food to be served. The normal pace returned during the off-peak hours. Service staffs were very amiable.

See previous entry

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Mart Boulevard
#01-08 Temasek Tower
8 Shenton Way
Tel: 6227 3487

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

316. Boon Lay Raja Restaurant II

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Chili Crab @$38.50, Steamed & Fried Buns @$2/3pax each

Was the chef changed? Yes, they changed the chef. Out of the uncountable times I have been to BLR, I have never seen once where the pincers were arranged nicely like this. BLR engaged chefs from China. The chili crabs tasted different from the last visit. It was not spicy. The chili gravy was more of like sweet and sourish tomato gravy. Thus, the shiokness was not there. Also, they did not serve the buns in steamers last time but they did this time round. Marks were added for the presentation.

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Fei Cui Beancurd @$10

I liked the idea of the addition of greens to make a dish healthier. It would have been great if the beancurd were crispy. But as seen evidently from the photo, they were more like tau pok. I would like to point out the vegetables that were laid underneath the beancurd. They were vegetables from China. I knew it because my mum used to grow them from the young plants she had gotten from China. They called it the China cabbage. And they grow like big green roses in soil. The texture was harder than the white cabbage that we usually eat. I think we are not able to get the vegetables in supermarkets.

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Pork Ribs @$20

It was not marmite ribs and it didn't taste like either. They named it 青椒白酒烧排骨 but I didn't see any green peppers either. It was a tad too salty. Unfortunately, it didn't make me wow-ed. But, the honeycomb crispy crackers which I supposed were made from rice flour were nice. It tasted like the Indian keropok.

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Celery with Scallops @$20

One more thing which I have noticed. They changed the plates. It was nicer. In fact, the food tasted better with the current chef. And business was better.

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Roasted Chicken (half)@$8

If you have been a regular reader here, you would have known that I often sing praises for the roasted chicken from BLR. Unlike previous visits, the chicken appeared in a light brown shade. But, the roasted chicken was crispy, tender and juicy as usual.

Overall, we spent $120 on this dinner. I got a 10% off with the discount card. Food was decent and price was reasonable. As it is one of the few bigger Chinese restaurants located in the West, sometimes weddings are held in BLR. It is always wise to call if there are availble tables. Also, BLR has rooms with KTV functions.

See previous entry

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Boon Lay Raja Restaurant
Blk 135 Jurong East Street 13
#02-337 Singapore 600135
Tel: 6563 6643

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