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

Saturday, December 1, 2012

373. ChateauAsia - Champagne Tasting

Just before the week ends smoothly, I find myself again accepted an invite - the invitation to ChateauAsia's wine tasting held at Tower Club. My vague recollection of some brochures on wealth banking reminded me of Tower Club's exclusivity for her members, situated on the 64th level penthouse (Straits Bar) of Republic Plaza. Very near to my office, I thought. It was rather an easy access up to Tower Club. When I've arrived, Straits Bar was already crowded with many people. The night has already begun with champagne free-flow. I did a quick search online before I make my way to the event and saw that the event was also opened to public, selling on Eventbrite and probably some others as well. Early birds pay $50, they've got a great deal!

ChateauAsia is an online shop specialising in wine, French wine. Everything via a click and the wine is delivered to your doorstep. They also have monthly tastings at Quinze Bouteilles (literally fifteen bottles) in Chinatown if you would like to taste their wine selection before making any purchase. You could also pick up your bottles at Quinze Bouteilles.

Food to lace the stomach. Salmon canapes, Parma Ham Melon, Creamy Mushroom Vol au vent and etc.

The event brought me to 6 types of champagne. Chardonnay, Jaillance, Charles du Roy But, Paul Louis Martin Grand Cru, Heidsieck Monopole Rosé Brut, Ruinart Blanc de Blanc and lastly the most expected Dom Perignon 1999.

Just an occasional drinker, not a wine connoiseur to start with, and here champagne, definitely an introduction to a new arena. I was first welcomed by Chardonnay, Jaillance ($25/bot). Single variety of grape, as it's name suggested. Pale yellow under the light, tiny bubbles and light on the palate. Drink young.

Charles du Roy But ($49/bot) was more refreshing than the first and had a similar citrus and floral smell. However, the sourish index was also relatively high as my sense of taste advised.

Heidsieck Monopole Rosé Brut ($75/bot) was the one I was more keen to go for. Rosé, always one of the ladies' favourite. Light, vivacious and the bright & clear colour definitely sweetened the mood. Generally, it was the berries that got the wine gone pink. And the colour intensity of Rosé is not constrained within pink. Got to know from the lady boss that there is a practising winemaking technique called blending method, mixing the wine with red wine to achieve the impart of the colour. Note that winemaking is very much dependant on types of grapes produced under unpredictable weather conditions.

Ruinart Blanc de Blanc

Smelled citrus and floral, was light and crisp to the palate.

Dom Perignon 1999 ($229/bot). I learnt that those wines with years are called vintage wines, meaning to say the grapes used for making the wine were grapes harvested in the same year. Dom Perignon is always a vintage champagne, meaning not made in weak years. Also explains why they are expensive. The champagne was smooth to throat and had very elegant streams of small bubbles you could almost count. Cheers to the night!

Thanks to ChateauAsia for having me at the event.

For more information on ChateauAsia, please visit