Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The Flying Squirrel

Tucked away into an alley walkway, is an inconspicuous and unpretentious new age Japanese Bar. Hearing its name will never give away any hints to what they actually serve - The Flying Squirrel! 

TFS does not seek to confuse if they had not convinced you to have made your way there for lunch. The menu is simple and easy to browse through in your limited break to decide on what to eat. No fancy code names or wannabe complicated Japanese terminologies. 

The food is equally simple, no frills and pleasantly good. What you ordered is what you get - No fancy plating or strange looking ingredients. But what you get is a place that is focused on getting you what you want (and maybe more) - a tasty meal. 


Tonkatsu Donburi ($16) - Thick cuts of lean yet juicy pork, with lightly flavoured batter tops the dish. At most places, you will get an oily and fattened piece of pork, with a batter that tastes like it has been fried in "French Fries" oil.  Here, everything is light and one might say just right. The steak was thick, really thick. Hence I had expected it to be undercooked or overcooked and dry. Surprisingly no! It was lean and juicy - like a perfectly cooked Chicken Breast. 

The rice was cooked well, but it is the flavours of the Onions, caramelised together with the mushrooms, to present a well balanced rice fused with eggs. 


Summer Chirashi Bento ($25) - It sure felt like damn summer during our walk here. But this Chirashi looks absolutely refreshing. Its again simple in its mix, with Salmon, Tuna, Hamachi, Octopus, Ebi, Unagi, Tomago and Ikura. 



For a new outlet, a "hole in a wall", the level of attention paid to service is top class. You are promptly greeted at the door and showed to your seats. The small detail of labeling your reservation on a little card and timing is cute. Top up of water is prompt, with the staff constantly eye balling you to see if you are alright. 

All in all a pleasant experience and good food. 
I will return for the Bar deals of Beers and Sakes that I see on the walls. It will be a nice hideout joint to drink up. 
Good job guys!



The Flying Squirrel
92 Amoy St, #01-02,
+65 6226 2203

Opening Hours 11am to 12mn 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Bangkok Food - 2014


Tom Yum Goong (with Milk)
(50Baht)



Basil Chicken with Rice 
(79 Baht with Drink)



Fried Rice with Crab Meat
(60 Baht) 



 Crispy Pork Rice @ Terminal 21 Food Court
(28 Baht)



================

 Seafood by the Streets @ Sukhumvit 11


Flower Crabs in Yellow Curry (800 Baht)


Fried Fish in Chilli (300 Baht)


Fried Prawns in Garlic (300 Baht)


Clams in Garlic (100 Baht)


=================

Famous Wanton Mee & Pig Trotters @ Phetchaburi 19


Pig Trotters and Pig Intestines




Street Food @ CentralWorld




 



Thursday, 22 May 2014

Shinji by Kanesaka @ St Regis

The magic of bringing both elements of a Sushi to equilibrium in the warm hands of the Chef... And the careful introduction of flavours in an often neglected half of the Sushi.

Subtlety and Simplicity brought to Mastery - Elegance.  



Sushi Course Sets
Nigiri sushi, maki sushi, soup, dessert


Tsuki 月
(12 pieces) 
$125

============

Toro
(Fatty Bluefin Tuna belly)



Chutoro
Chutoro is similar to Toro (Fatty Bluefin tuna belly). The only difference is that it's a cut that's closer to the rear of the tuna and is less fatty. 




Zuke

 (Soaked Maguro)

The old zuke method, where the sliced sashimi is soaked in soy sauce for a short period of time. This was done in the old days to prevent the tuna from spoiling too quickly, but it concentrates the flavors in the tuna flesh due to water loss by osmosis.



Akami 
(Top loin of Bluefin Tuna)



Aji
(Japanese Jack Mackerel)


Ika Nigiri
(Squid)



Kuruma
(Japanese Tiger Prawn)



Uni
(Sea Urchin)



Ayu
(Sweetfish)



Chutoro - Toro Temaki
(Handrolled Maki with freshly diced Chutoro and Toro mixed with pounded Spring Onions and Soya Sauce) 





Regal tradition and sophisticated luxury set the stage for Shinji By Kanesaka, a partner restaurant of The St. Regis Singapore, to showcase the richness of Japanese culinary heritage and unrivalled hospitality. Head Chef Shunsuke Kikuchi and his team take centre stage at the hinoki sushi counter bearing testimony to the deep-rooted commitment behind an age-old craft.


 Shiji by Kanesaka 
St Regis Hotel
29 Tanglin Road · Singapore 247911
+65 6884 8239

reservations@shinjibykanesaka.com

Monday to Saturday only
Lunch: 12noon to 3pm
Dinner: 6pm to 10:30pm



Oysters - Variants


========

Gillardeau Oysters, Marennes
(Voluptuous, almost crunchy flesh. Subtle and refined. )

Gillardeau oysters are a brand of edible oysters that are produced by the Gillardeau family and their small private company, which was founded in 1898 in Bourcefranc-le-Chapus near La Rochelle and the Île d'Oléron in western France. 

[$5.50 each at Culina's]


=======

Belon Oysters 

Belon is a river in France famed for succulent oysters. Belon, you will point out with a pinch of Gallic disgust, is not in Maine. No, but the oyster that made Belon famous—The European Flat—is.

These wild oysters are as powerful as any on the planet, redolent of fish and zinc and umami—not for the faint of heart. A minuscule 5,000 Belon a year are pulled in Maine and sold, making them one of the rarest oysters in the world.



==========

Perle Blanche Oysters, Normandy
(A sweet deep sea oyster with a creamy texture.) 

This producer from the Charente region chose a cautious production to give birth to a great special, La Perle Blanche. Farmed between the Normandie and Charente-Maritime, La Perle Blanche come from the marriage of these two traditions.

To make its shell, it grasps a stick called ‘naissain’. After 11 months, the shell becomes harsher. Then it is time to remove these small oysters from the "collecteur", tricky operation called "détroquage". The Perle Blanche is then put into pockets and transported in Normandie in breeding pools located next to the Channel. This area is perfect for breeding the Perle Blanche thanks to its richness in planktons, which constitue the food of oysters. "Tied onto iron tables, the pockets are turned around regularly.

From six months to a year are necessary for the oyster to grow, which, to this point, is an oyster of deep sea with a taste of iodine.

So, the Perle Blanche comes back in Charente-Maritime, in the pools of Marennes. There, the weak salinity, the quality of sea water, the sweetness of climate allows the Perle Blanche to finish with its maturation in three weeks or more. It is during this step that the Perle Blanche becomes thiner, sweeter, and adopts this taste so typical.

[$7.50 each at Culina's]


=========

Black Perle Oysters, Brittany
(Sweet and creamy, with hints of iodine and hazelnut.)

[$6 each at Culina's]



Fines de Claire, Marennes N3 $4 
(Delicate with good salt balance and a slight nutty flavour)

Royal Oyster, Marennes N2 $6.5 
(Deep-cupped, iodised with a sweet finish)

Wild Big Oyster, Britanny N2 $5.5
(Raised on the Atlantic Coast, tasting of the ocean. )

St Vaast, Normandy N2 $5
(Plump, smooth, salty, with a distinct nutty flavour)

To be continued... 

Hanare Japanese Cafe

Whilst everyone is queuing up for an hour over at Teppei, not many people know about this place yet. This is the sister outlet of Teppei, which is just a few steps away. 

When we entered, there were seats readily available at noon! Compared to the 30 odd people standing outside Teppei. 

So this is it. The Bara Set ($18.90), is an amazing Chirashi... It was simply love at first sight. It screams SIN, but it isn't really. Full of good protein and overwhelming Omega3. 

It has the freshest ingredients - Tuna, Salmon, Squid, Scallops, and Ikura. 



In case you are wondering if the standard, or the freshness or the quality is second to Teppei? I saw the staff literally carry a box of Sashimi straight from Teppei! So don't worry bout it. 


Hanare 
99A Tanjong Pagar Road
Level 3
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2:30pm, 6:30pm – 10:00pm (Mon-Sat, Closed Sun)

Miharu - Sapporo Ramen (MOVED)

I've been on a search for the best Ramen in Singapore. The results were varying, with each chef having their own twist, specialty and origin. But to have that balance of flavours and a depiction of mastery and skill, only a few emerge. Miharu came as a recommendation from a friend, and we decided to find out during a weekday lunch.

This place was tough to find. It is at the side of Gallery hotel, and the last one right to the end. Or if you are coming from the main road, then you can walk in from the outside instead. 

This place was surprisingly empty for lunchtime, with only one other table, a visiting family. We decided to order one of each different variant to try, and these were the results. 

Miso Tonkotsu - Rich Miso Flavoured with Fried Garlic Oil ($13.80): This was the most obvious pick when in doubt. Full flavoured, almost too salty but intense. The fried garlic was battling with the miso all the time. Finish it whilst its hot otherwise you will be left with a broth that might be too overwhelming to finish. 


Komi Tsuke-men - Citrus Soya Sauce ($13.50): This was interesting. Almost like a Soba. But perhaps a Ramen deconstructed. The dipping sauce was a Yuzu inspired, Soya Sauce like, Broth. It was quite confusing. But interesting... 


Tonkusen Ton Shio - Special Pork Flavoured with Rich Taste Salt ($13.50): This is my favourite. A good balance between Milky, Light, Salty, and an underlying Sweetness from the corn. Easily one of the best Ramen i have had. 



All in all, I highly recommend this place for a good Ramen craving joint. Maybe the Miso Ramen might be awesome with a cold Sapporo beer! Just a suggestion... 


Miharu (Moved)

Address: 1 Nanson Rd, Gallery Hotel. (facing the main road) Singapore 238909
Phone:6733 8464


(Moved to Millenia Walk)

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Ga-Hock Seafood

This was certainly a hidden find! After a golf game at Warren Country Club, my team dragged me here (winning a dinner from me). 

Good thing we arrived earlier (before 6pm), because afterwhich, the crowds just poured in furiously! I didn't even know about this place before. 

So I let them order. The first dish that came out blew my mind. Lest the fact that I have been searching for the best Nonya Curry Fish Head for awhile now... I think this might be the one! 

The Consistency of the curry was good, sufficiently Spicy to give a kick, the Fish was fresh, what blew me away was the addition of the Dried Beancurd Skin and the Tau Pok - which soaked up the flavours of the Curry. This is it. 


As you dig into your plain rice with the Curry, what else would complement it but some Deep Fried Pork Belly! I felt as though I was eating Hainan Curry Rice (Scissors). 



To finish it off, we had a huge Sri Lankan Black Pepper Crab. There are so many styles of Black Pepper, from the Dry/Wet, Sweet/Salty/Spicy. This was the Wet and Spicy (slightly on the sweeter side). The Crab was so fresh, the meat tender and firm. These guys got the skill of knowing how to prepare a Crab. 



However, I was told, apart from the Fish Head, I have yet to try the ultimate Signature: the Salt Baked Crab. I was like what??? I saw them taking it out... OMG. I will be back for that - for sure. 



Ga-Hock Seafood
(Opposite MINDEF)
794 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore 678133
Phone:6314 5725

Thursday, 1 May 2014

il Fiore's Legendary Bee Hoon

This is one of CBD's biggest secrets. And it has remained so for decades!
This is nestled in the unknown basement of Singapore Land Tower. Perfect for the discreet business lunch, or the getaway after-work drink. 

The founder Angie and now her Nephew David runs this place with Cozy service. Every customer is treated with warming importance - expect your name to be remembered just coming back the second time. What is amazing Service Excellence is how Angie expects all her staff to be able to spot the Regulars coming down the stairs and have his/her drink ready by the time he steps in! 


What is featured in this write up is their famous White Bee Hoon. Something so simple yet so subtle. Finding the fine balance between Texture, Fragrance and Dryness. Chilli Padi readily available.



And of course you cannot miss the OTAH! This local dish, a spicy Mackerel paste, is offered here. You may choose to eat it on its own, or wolf it down with the Bee Hoon. Not too thinly spread, it floats with fragrance and spice as it melts in your mouth. Wash it down with a fresh lager on tap and you are a happy camper! 





Il Fiore
50 Raffles Pl, Singapore Land Tower
Singapore 048623
+65 6223 3551