Thursday, February 26, 2009

Steak Lovers' Association @ Hog's Breath Cafe

Even when ValenWine loomed and work was piling up, my tired soul craved steak. That's why I'm thankful for the monthly Steak Lovers' Dinner.

A good dose of bovine protein and iron would do good to boost energy levels, no?

My dinner option was simple- Natural Prime Rib ($34 for ~250g). No starters, no desserts. Just beef with a glass of iced water. But you suspected I wouldn't settle for 250g yea? And so yes, like MacDonald's favourite option, I opted to upsize it to the Mega Cut (additional $9 to "upgrade" to ~400g).

The simplicity of this dish was great. The beef was succulent and with the flavour of slight charred-ness on its skirting matching the gentle sweetness of the meat. Bits of fats were marbled along some parts, providing extra tenderness and flavour.

Ok, it was perhaps more like a roast than a steak but it was still delicious. The salad provided a refreshing landscape but the baked potato, perhaps mirroring the current economic outlook, was of a pathetic size.

Hog's Breath Cafe
#01-26/27 CHIJMES
Tel: 6338 1387
Opens: 11.30am to Midnight daily. (last order at 10.30pm)

Chew On This: My last visit to Hog's Breath Cafe was quite some time ago at their Holland Village branch. Then, the food was below average. I heard that the CHIJMES branch is a better bet but not being a frequent Hog's Breather, I can't ascertain this. Anyone?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sizzler Lunch

Oh how I mourn the absence of Ponderosa- my all-time favourite place for steak and buffet as a kid. Now, it seems that only Sizzler is left and while I still prefer the former, Sizzler does offer a decent lunch option (11.30am-2.30pm) with good value.

Wanting some meat, I ordered the Sirloin Steak ($19.99) from the lunch menu. It was a little chewy but I'm not here to pick on the steak. The best part was that the main course order comes with the buffet spread.

Greens and salad options were available for DIY salads. Think french beans, lettuce, asparagus, broccoli, beetroot, carrots etc. Whether one likes a light balsamic and olive oil dressing or a rich thousand island sauce, you get to pick and customise to your own taste preference.

The soup tasted bad and the pasta average.

But do go for the corn chips! The crispy saltiness of the corn chip goes well with the tangy salsa and creamy sour cream. Corn is healthy. Hahaha.

Coleslaw, salami slices and ham shreds are also great to add variety to lunch.

And if you're still hungry, there's always the reliable potato salad, tuna mayo and egg mayo.

Finish off with fresh fruits, ice cream with toppings, and coffee and tea.

It was nothing like good ol' Ponderosa but Sizzler's lunch does give a good variety at a reasonable price. Great for those who like variety!

Suntec City Tower 2
Tel: 6336 5866
Opens: 11.30am to 9pm on Sunday, Monday to Thursday
11:30am to 10pm on Friday, Saturday, Public Holiday & Eve of Public Holiday

Chew On This: For those who just wish to have the buffet spread, it'
s available at $15.99. Add $4 for a sirloin with fries. Now that sounds like a good idea to add a little beef.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Eat Some Hor Fun!

I love hor fun and I bet there are many hor fun lovers out there too.

I really like Tuck Kee (Ipoh) Sah Hor Fun for its smooth hor fun which slid down my throat with pleasure. It was firm and retained a nice bite too. The brown gravy which is slathered over the hor fun tasted of seafood goodness but in a gentle way. Nothing too in-your-face. Mix in a little of the chilli paste to spice things up.

The prawns were succulent and the crayfish (yes, it's leaner times but we can indulge in a hawker centre once in a while too yea?) sweet. But the latter could have been firmer though.

My only gripe was the small portion. But then that means more space to try the other delicious food. See why I love looking at the brighter side of things? Haha.

Tuck Kee (Ipoh) Sah Hor Fun
#02-41A Hong Lim Food Centre
Opens: 11am to 3pm
Closes: Sundays

Chew On This: For best hor fun results, do not take too many pictures long to tuck in as the hor fun tends to clump together after a while.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

ValenWine is here again!

Yup, ValenWine is here once again! This time, in addition to wine, we will also be featuring chocolate merchants and their delectable pralines.

Date: 12th & 13th Feb 2009 (This Thurs & Fri)
Time: 10am to 6pm
Venue: Nanyang Auditorium, NTU
Dress Code: Casual

Admission is Free! Wine sampling at only $1 for 5 samples! Live Performances! Goodie bags! Vintec wine chiller to be won! Lucky Draw! Games!

Participating Wine Merchants:
-Palitalia Importer & Exporter
-Wine Connection
-Viva Vino
-Linden Resources
-The Moomba
-The Local Nose
-The Bottle Shop
-Garnet & Peridot
-Casa Chile
-Ben Foods
-Wine Guru
-Black Tongues

So come on down now!

Chew On This: *Hic*

Monday, February 02, 2009

Buffet Dinner @ Peach House

Hunger struck one late evening and Mum had a sudden craving for Japanese food. Then we remembered this new Japanese restaurant that had set-up shop just off Simpang Bedok. So off we went to Momoya.

The wooden interiors gave a homely feel to the place and while the dimmed lights were cosy, it was a disaster for photography. Fortunately, we were seated at the (sushi) bar counter where one or two strong lights shone. Business was good even at 8.30pm. In fact, our table of 4 had to make do at the (sushi) bar counter for an hour before being moved to another more comfortable seat.

A quick browse of the menu explained the crowd. They offered ala carte... and buffet. Hungry people can't afford to slowly browse, pick and choose so ala carte buffet it was. Just point on the menu and salivate while coverting thy neighbour's bento box.

As expected, the sashimi was first to hit the table. No-need-to-cook-it-so-should-be-faster theory holds. Pretty thick slices of Maguro, Sake, Tai, Hamachi and Tako were sufficiently fresh and gone in 60 seconds. The octopus was a little icy though.

Another forget-the-cooking-and-just-assemble item arrived- Sake Sushi. I think they used the belly. Check out the fat streaks.

And more sushi- California Maki.

Potato salad is kinda hard to go wrong. And it really didn't.

This is the Yaki Niku (Beef with Special Sauce). Typical fatty slices of beef stir-fried with garlic, onions and terriyaki sauce. Made me order rice.

Fried Garlic Rice turned out average. A more robust flavour from the garlic and hot wok would have boosted its appeal.

The Lotus Root with Vinegar Sauce was a good palate cleanser! This slices of vinegary lotus root prepared the way for more food.

Edamame to add some green to the diet. Hehe.

Chawanmushi was a hot, silky egg custard. With just a slice of shitake and Japanese fishcake, it was simple yet satisfying. Maybe the recession has hit Chawanmushi and removed the piece of chicken, prawn, gingko nut and what not.

The Tonkatsu was good as deep-fried breaded pork but as Tonkatsu, it was nothing like Tonkichi's or Tetsu's. Well it's an unfair comparison anyway. The Soft Shell Crab behind was unfortunately too oil-soaked and could chalk up one's daily intake of oil.

I was surprised to find Mentaiko Pasta at a Japanese buffet. But oh what joy it is to find when the pasta was firm and the onions and mentaiko giving that spicy-umami injection.

Tako Yaki were piping hot and with squishy-goey insides. Not the most appetising description but when served hot and with a dab of mayo and lots of bonito flakes, it was still yum.

Age Dashi Tofu is one of my favourites. Here, the skin was a mix of crisp and chewy, and clothed the tofu nicely.

The Saba Shioyaki was decent but its burnt skin marred the experience.

I can't remember the exact name of this dish but it was a bowl of udon soup with a piece of fried chicken. They also had ramen, curry udon and soba.

The Tempura was average at best. The prawn was scrawny and limp.

But it was still ok compared to three items that I found really bad.

First up was the the Unagi Tempura with Special Sauce. It was the special sauce that was a turn-off. A strange mix of sweetness and heat that didn't go well with the unagi.

Next was the Tori Ponzu (Fried Chicken with Special Sauce). Note its 'special sauce' once again. Sour chicken doesn't seem like a good idea.

Lastly, it was the Shishamo Furai. Think cold, soggy, fishy. Certainly not a tagline that any fish would like.

We had quite a few more dishes but I gave up taking photos after we moved to another table.

Overall, I feel that Momoya has done a good job. Being only 1 month plus old young, there was certainly a few things which could be reviewed and tweaked further. The price and variety of food is good. Current quality is ok but should pick up once they've settled in. For me, it was still a better experience than at another established Japanese buffet (which will remain in my sizeable backlog).

Lunch Buffet- $26+
Dinner Buffet- $30+

16 Jalan Pari Burong (off Simpang Bedok)
Tel: 6245 3303

Chew On This: I was pleasantly surprised when a staff came to ask for feedback and he was even writing everything down on paper. Later on, the lady boss spoke to us, informing us that Momoya had just started and sought our understanding should anything be not up to expectation/standard. I'm impressed at their sincerity and pro-activeness to seek customer feedback and suggestions. All the best, Momoya! Hopefully you would have blossomed when I next return.