Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fried Food Fix at Saboten

It is hard not to like fried food especially when it comes to the Japaneses breaded pork dish of Tonkatsu.

This cow grazed on Tonkatsu and other fried specialties over at Saboten, which moved from Parco to 313@Somerset a few months ago.

How do you tell Spanish pork from the non-Spanish ones? By the Spanish flag stabbed into the meat of course! Moohaha. The Iberico Loin Katsu Set ($28) had a crisp, crumbly exterior and while the pork's texture was not as tender as I had expected, its flavour was beautifully rounded and nutty.

Grind some black and white sesame seeds and drizzle in the housemade Tonkatsu sauce for a nice balance of savoury, aromatic, tart and fruity touches. The sauce is developed by Saboten's own R&D team and features over 10 different types of spices, vegetables and fruits. Very good!

Opting for a set means one gets Japanese rice, miso soup, raw cabbage salad (crisp and refreshing especially with the goma dressing), chawanmushi, pickles and dessert with the first 3 mentioned items served free-flow! Woohoo. #carbsfanatic

To compare the Spanish Iberico katsu to the "regular" one, we ordered the Fried Jumbo Prawn Tsuki Set ($28.50) which came with 1/2 loin katsu, fried jumbo prawn and the crab cream croquette. The pork katsu was actually more tender than its Spanish counterpigpart but had less depth of flavour. The jumbo prawn was quite nice with meaty flesh while the crab cream croquette oozed a creamy inside. A squeeze of lemon helped cut through the heaviness.

For an added flavour dimension, order the Curry Sauce ($3). It was sweet, mild and quite shiok with the (free-flow) rice. Behind it is the Fried Hotate ($12 for 2 pieces of fried scallops), a seasonal special available until 31 October. Pity the scallop I tried was disappointingly dry beneath that golden coat.

The fried food at Saboten was not bad on the whole but I couldn't help but feel that they somehow felt heavier on the palate.

But that's why the Yuzu Sorbet was the perfect dessert to end the meal with. Bright, citrus-y notes and not too sweet.

Thanks to Jaslyn of Brand Cellar for the invitation.

313@Somerset (other outlets at IMM and Changi Airport Terminal 1)
Opens: 11.30am to 10pm
Tel: 6333 3432

Chew On This: Saboten is the world's largest Tonkatsu restaurant chain with over 500 outlets worldwide!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Bread, Egg & A Pool of Goodness

A simple fried egg, crusty baguette and a bean stew are always a good thing together.

Cue Kacang Pool ($3). This humble dish does not boast of chunks of meat nor fish but offers a comforting meal with simple ingredients. An earthy stew of beans provided a tasty pool for dipping warm, crusty baguette. Green chillies and raw onions provided a refreshing crunch while a squeeze of lime helped to cut the richness of the Kacang Pool.

A freshly fried egg added to the simple pleasures of this dish.

Mop, mop, mop it up! Moohehe.

Kacang Pool Special
Blk 4A
Eunos Crescent Market & Food Centre

Chew On This: This stall uses healthier oil and salt!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

A Random Dinner in Geylang

It all started out as a rainy Thursday evening where colleagues got stuck in office because of the downpour. Hungry, tired and cold, a colleague and I ended up walking the streets of Geylang. Not moo-nlighting lah! Moohaha. We were in search of dinner.

Popping into a random eatery after walking for a bit, turned out to be a very good choice. The Pork & Chives Dumplings were comforting nuggets of chewy skin and plump, tasty fillings. While the Zha Jiang Mian was overly soft for our liking, the simple dish of Tomatoes & Egg was incredibly delicious with deep savoury layers and fluffy, saucy goodness. Eat this one with rice! Speaking of rice, have some ready for the Spicy Small Beef & Tofu, a big bowl of beef and tofu cubes in an aromatic, spicy and zesty broth.  

Wash everything down with an iced cold TsingTao beer for a happy shiok ending. :)

Dong Bei Dumpling King
372 Geylang Road

Chew On This: They have about 4-5 different variants of pork jiao zhi (dumpling)!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Kopitiam Lechon

I have very limited experience with Filipino cuisine but roast pig cuts across cultures and is something I can easily understand. Moohehe. So yay to Filipino-style roast pig, lechon!

And what's moore? It is somewhat fun to have this Filipino delicacy in the familiar settings of a kopitiam. :p

The Lechon Set ($10) is very simple. Chunks of suckling pig roasted in-house, served alongside rice. I like that the different parts of the pig gave varying textures. Overall, it was tender yet retaining enough bite. The marinate was very gentle with notes of lemongrass and garlic, allowing the natural flavours of the pork to take centre stage. A thin layer of fat lies beneath the crisp smoky skin resulting in bursts of joy with each bite.

Two dips were available. The darker one seemed like a soy sauce based dip which imparted a savoury touch while the vinegar with bits of chilli and garlic was piquant and helped to cut through the grease.

I should return to try the roast chicken and pork belly the next time!

Iskina Cebu
Block 1016 Geylang East Ave 3
Opens: Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm-9.30pm
            Sunday, 12pm-7.30pm

Chew On This:

They have a charcoal roasting pit right in the stall. Cool!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Chewing on Mooncakes

In the editorial world, the arrival of mooncakes sends a love-hate frenzy among media friends. It is also a sign that Christmas is coming. HEY IT IS COMING! #youhearditherefirst! Moohehe.

Ok I digress.

Mandarin Orchard's box boasts an elegant feel with a plush red border and gold lattice motifs. The baked mooncakes were pretty good with smooth, not-too-sweet fillings of Azuki Red Bean Paste and Pine Nuts ($57 for 4 pieces), Double Yolk and White Lotus Paste ($61 for 4 pieces) and Macadamia Nuts and Low Sugar White Lotus Paste ($57 for 4 pieces).
The interesting one which stood out was the 8-Treasure Mala Szechwan Spice and Jamon Iberico ($65 for 4 pieces). A savoury mooncake, this one had meaty flavours with the mild tingling aftertaste from Sze Chuan peppercorns.

Over at the InterContinental Singapore's Man Fu Yuan, baked mooncakes take on a more traditional feel with timeless favourites such as White Lotus Seed Paste with Double Yolks ($59 for 4 pieces) and Lotus Seed Paste with Single Yolk ($49 for 4 pieces). Those who prefer one with less sugar can opt for the Low Sugar White Lotus Seed Paste with Single Yolk ($49 for 4 pieces).

I particularly enjoyed the Shanghai Mooncake with Single Yolk ($57 for 4 pieces), top left in the above photo. Its buttery, slightly salty crust complemented the sweetness of the lotus seed paste nicely.

Man Fu Yuan's snowskin mooncakes are also equally tempting with the Snowskin Mooncake Combination ($57 for 4 pieces) offering one piece of each of 4 flavours- the rich "Mao Shan Wang" Durian Mooncake with Coconut, intensely nutty Sesame Paste with White Sesame Seeds, subtle White Lotus Seed Paste with Macadamia Nuts, and my personal favourite of the aromatic Green Tea Paste with Dragonball Jasmine.

Man Fu Yuan's beautiful box this year is designed by students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. Simple with understated class. Inside this, the individual mooncakes are covered by small boxes with colourful butterfly designs.

Happy Mid-Autumn, folks! Here's to a peaceful one filled with dreams of Chang E quality time spent with family and friends over delicious mooncakes and teas. Moohehe.

Thanks to Mandarin Orchard and InterContinental Singapore for the mooncakes.

Chew On This: Cos they only appear once a year! #maytheynotgothewayofthebakchang

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ugly but Yummy

Some say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But sometimes I find that beauty is in the mouth of the beholder. Moohahaha.

Take this messy plate of curry rice for example. While it might look haphazard and even insipid, the magic happens in the mouth. With lashings of aromatic Hainanese curry, savoury braised pork gravy, braised cabbage gravy and sweet-ish sauce from canned sardines over the slightly sticky rice, each mouthful was a lovely mix of flavours. Cap it off with a sunny side up, crispy strips of pork chop and soft braised cabbage for one happy meal. :)

I think it would be interesting to taste this in the dark!

Hainanese Curry Rice
Maxwell Food Centre
Closes on Fridays & Public Holidays

Chew On This: Expect to queue during peak hours but potentially be rewarded with moore food just before they close for the day! LOL.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Slurpy-licious Chewy Udon

While ramen is undeniably still the moost popular Japanese noodles in Singapore, there are also oodles of good udon and soba to be had.

Over at Tamoya, a udon specialist from Japan, the famed Sanuki Udon ($7.30 for large) is served. The simple soy sauce broth was clear and savoury. Perfect with the thick, chewy strands of udon that had such a lovely bite. A real delight to slurp on!

DIY and customise the toppings of your udon at this self-serve station. I added wakame, preserved plums, spring onions and ground sesame seeds. :p

There was also a line up of Tempura (from $1) to choose from but it was average. Added variety to the meal though their star was clearly udon.

And if one is a 人, consider adding an Onigiri (from $1.60) or two. Moohaha.

Chinatown Point (other outlets in United Square & Liang Court)
Opens: 11am to 9.30pm daily

Chew On This: Apparently 3 types of flour are blended to give Sanuki udon its characteristic chewiness.