Friday, 10 February 2017

Hokkaido Izakaya - Japan Food Town

We had wanted to try the fairly new Japan Food Town on the top floor of Wisma Atria. For a Friday night, the rest of the restaurants seemed very empty. So being the Singaporean, we went for the one with the longest queue. Unfortunately we were left quite disappointed. 

 Milk HotPot Salmon $18
This was pretty much the only dish that came close to decent and fairly priced. However, it was still very salty. It wasn't something you could drink at least. 

Sashimi 5 Kinds $28
The moriawase is a supermarket version of cheap sashimi. You'd be able to tell that the "shake" is of lower quality, whilst a few slices of tako and maguro to fill the plate and a $1 serving of Ikura in a pretty box. 

Wagyu Beef with Uni $35
For 4 slices of the said Wagyu, wrapped with a array of fresh vegetable juliennes - we thought that the uni would be so exquisite to justify the $35. Yet to our dismay, the uni was not fresh - you can tell from the colour already. And perhaps they had tried to mask this by chucking as much Nori as possible on top. 

Grilled Kinki (Half) $28
For $28, and judging from the picture on the menu, what came out to the table was ghastly different! Smaller than the palm of my hand, and halved! It was an amazing rip off.  

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Grain Traders @ CapitaGreen

A first time here, always daunted by the long queues and the impression of a lack of seats inside. Today we came out early and not only did not wait long, but got a seat too! 

For $16, you'd got 1 Grain, Protein, 1 Warm Veg, 2 Cold Vegs, 1 Topping and a choice of Sauce. Definitely not the most affordable, but for quality food served warm, it is a price. 

I had the Super Greens base of Spinach and Kale, a Medium Steak, warm Wild Mushrooms, Wafu Tomatoes and Mixed Beans Pico de Gallo topped with Fruit and Nuts on a Salsa Verde sauce. Every item was tasty and flavourful. Thoroughly satisfying without Guilt. 

Grain Traders
CapitGreen, 138 Market Street. 

Quan Lai Kway Chap @ Macpherson

A place we would always come for lunch whenever we are at Paya Lebar, or when I used to work in this area. They are known for their deep fried Big Intestines. But their Kway is also one of the better ones I have had. Smooth Kway (Rice Flat Noodles) on a stronger than normal soup. 

Get a platter of Ngoh Hiang (Fried Spring Rolls), Fish Cakes, Intestines and Pork Belly. Enough to satisfy the cholesterol quota! Haha. 

Quan Lai Kway Chap
560 MacPherson Rd, Singapore 368233
Opening Hours: 8am–12:30am

Seng's Duck Confit Wanton Mee

We came here on a festive lunch out from work towards the end of the year. Being a Wanton Mee fan, a colleague (from UK) swears by this place. I should have known better. Haha. 

The get up was "atas", with sophisticated kitchen machinery to slow roast their Char Siew and Pork Belly and for the matter this Duck Confit, and even a Sous Vide. 

The noodles were fairly springy and of the thicker variant, whilst the sauces were DIY. Means that you'd choose from an array of available sauces placed out in front of you by the tables. I simply went for the Chilli Sauce. The flavours were alright but felt and tasted as though they were trying too hard to commercialise the most important part of local hawker food - the base, the heart of noodles, the sauce, has now been bastardised. 

The Duck Confit, I felt personally, if it was cooked in its own fat, should not have been shredded this way. Losing all its juices and tenderness as a whole piece. 

The Pork Lard, as you can see is in random large chunks, probably "sophistically" air fried from its colour and texture. They've lost the plot really. Pork lard, requires to be fried in oil and infused over a larger surface area is smaller cubes tossing around in one's noodles, influencing each bite without a hint of guilt. 

Seng's Noodle Bar

52 Amoy Street
Singapore 069878
+65 6221 1336

Ha Ha Bin Hokkien Mee @ Chinatown Complex

Recommended by Dr Leslie Tay, I decided to try this stall for myself. I am a keen supporter of the next generation of hawkers taking over. When I heard of this 21 Year Old Hawkerpreneur, I had to come. At around 3pm on a Sunday he wasn't there. I had this guy, almost "reheat" the previous batch of noodles for me. Perhaps this could be way I loved it so much. Because it had been sitting in its broth soaking all its flavours. 

Its base broth, has very rich flavours of Prawns but I felt that they added a little too much rock sugar. It was sweeter than normal. But it is still good. If you like your Hokkien Mee to be a bit saltier, you could stir in the Sambal Chilli into each bite. This seems to balance the sweetness and add to its savouriness. 

The Sotong/Squid was fresh and not overcooked, and there were "bits" of Pork Belly (I wished they were chunkier). But the "Sand" Prawns that they used were simply luxurious. Albeit being two pieces, they were firm and chewy. 

I'd definitely come back for this plate if I am in the area. Beats the franchised and commercialised ones along Smith Street Food Street. 

Ha Ha Bin Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee
02-137 Chinatown Complex
Opening Hours: 10am - 8:30pm

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Lunch at Cheek by Jowl

2 courses for $30 without a 3rd for dessert, is a fairly reasonable price for a set lunch in the CBD for this quality. It was Australia Day when we came, and seem to enjoy the Appetisers and Starters more than the mains rather.

These would include an appetiser of a roasted  Jalapenoes sprinkled with salt and a Raw Oyster topped with frozen tomato Granita. An excellent appetiser with the Granita savoury and chased with a raw French briny Oyster. 

The chosen Starters, my dry aged Wagyu tartare was simply amazing. Comparable to what I had in Korea, quality raw beef, with a firm bite without a raw taste to it. Sweet and savoury enhanced with the cured salted egg yolk.

The main, a Barramundi, was left with a rather disappointing feeling. A fish cooked well, but without a wow factor. I'd rather have a grilled Snapper at a Chinese restaurant without any frills anytime. The charred lettuces were okay... 

Frozen Tomato Granita on French Raw Oyster

Crab Salad and Pickled Squash on Tarragon

Dry Aged Wagyu Tartare sprinkled with cured Salted Egg Yolk

Barramundi with Charred Lettuce and Prawn Floss

Cheek by Jowl 
21 Boon Tat St, Singapore 069620
Phone:6221 1911

Friday, 3 February 2017

A Noodles Story - Michelin Bib Gourmand

They have had a long lunch queue since they opened, the Bib Gourmand, in my opinion, did not do anything to the length of the wait. 45 mins! To queue in a non air-conditioned food centre in your work attire for the length of that time, I wouldn't do it again. 

However, I would tell you this, it is a pretty decent bowl of noodles. If you would take this to Japan where it infused its influences, such as a Ramen and its Onsen egg and Char Siew, it would fly. 

The Onsen egg was done perfectly, for a hawker stall condition, they do better than most Ramen stalls would achieve theirs! Just look at the flow of the yolk in the picture below. Not to mention their Char Siew, rivalling the same, was melt in your mouth quality! 

The Wantons would be worthy of any Hong Kong restaurant, with a full prawn wrapped with some minced pork. Value for money? I'd pay $7.20 anytime of the day for such an amazing bowl painstakingly crafted. 

The noodles were tossed perfectly too. Not too al dente, enough to allow proper chew.
One controls the fire and the noodles, whilst the other takes the order and adds on the condiments.

The soup, strangely if I am not mistaken, is a beef bone broth. Was savoury and addictive. I'd definitely recommend that you try this, but prepare for a bit of a wait. 

A Noodles Story
#01-39 Amoy Street Food Centre, 7 Maxwell Road, 069111
Opening Hours Mon-Fri: 11:15 to 14:30; 17:30 to 19:30 Sat: 10:30 to 14:00

Leong Kee Bak Kut Teh @ Geylang Lor 11

Since they have closed their flagship outlet in Beach Road some years back, I had tried to locate their whereabouts. And now I have found them at the corner coffeeshop of Lor 11 Geylang. Eager was I to verify if they were as good as they were before. 

Leong Kee may not compare to the best of JB, but from here, I feel that the Klang style Bak Kut Teh, they are up there in Singapore's context. I've grown quite sick of the clear watered down peppery version of the BKT. Trust me if you have a cold of simply wish for something that is going to warm your insides, nothing better than a herbal broth of Pork Ribs fired on a Claypot, and doused with a sparing chuck of raw minced Garlic! And them "Tau Kee" (Dried Beancurd Skin), soaks up all the flavours of the broth and "gives" it back to you with texture! 

The Pig Trotters, texture wise were alright. Just that I am not sure if you would appreciate them in this herby broth, slightly thicker than the BKT soup. Same with the ones for the small intestines. 

Leong Kee (Klang) Bak Kut Teh
251 Geylang Lor 11
Singapore 389309
Opening Hours: 11am to Midnight