Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ugly But Yummy

There is beauty in ugliness. Proof of that? Hainanese curry rice.

It looks sloppy and scrumptious! Almost undiscernible, fried pork chop ($1), ngoh hiang (60 cents), fried egg (50 cents) and braised cabbage (60 cents) topped the rice on my plate. In a fussy-wussy world, the pork chop could have been crispier, the ngoh hiang wrapped tighter and the fried egg less cooked. But all is forgiven smothered under that lovely, gooey blanket of thick, fragrant and spicy-sweet curry and braised sauce.

The individual components by themselves seemed ordinary but when combined, sang a beautiful song of delicious harmony.

Some say we eat with our eyes, this cow says I can eat this happily with moo eyes closed.

Beach Road Scissor-Cut Curry Rice
229 Jalan Besar (Junction of Jalan Besar & Kitchener Road)
Opens: 11am-3.30am daily

Chew On This: This stall is famous for using old-school metal scissors to snip up food items into bite-sized pieces (how convenient!). It is comforting to know that even after decades, some things never change. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Meeting & Eating

It's nice to have lunch meetings because....well, there's lunch! :p

This was some time ago at KUMO Kaiseki.

The kaiseki lunch ($58) started with a plate of 3 appetisers. Small morsels to prep the taste buds for more.

Then sashimi followed. Absolutely yummers! Just something alluring about fresh raw fish dabbed with wasabi and dipped in soy sauce.

Next course was supposed to be duck but my host recommended skipping that and going for both the beef and fish. Usually it's a choice of one out of the two.

The Grilled US Beef was disappointingly tough and dry. It had good flavour though. Thought it to be more like a braised dish than grilled.

The Grilled Kanpachi Cheek was much, much better. Simply grilled with a bit of salt, the slivers of flesh were smooth and silky. Niceee.

For dessert, we enjoyed a Choya Jelly. Nothing too potent or flammable unlike my friend, Ewan's memorable vodka jelly. Moohahaha.

Lunch ended and work resumed. Sometimes the lines blur.

Oh and I forgot to snap a shot of the restaurant front. Oopsie!

12 Gopeng Street
#01-58 ICON Village
Tel: 6225 8433

Chew On This: There's no service charge, only GST added to the bill. Thankfully, there was service! LOL. Quite good value.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Taking Singapore Out

Bringing a taste of Singapore to the world, the Singapore International Culinary Exchange (SPICE) presents Singapore Takeout- 1 mobile kitchen, 9 cities, 10 chefs and 15 food brands on a 365-day gastronomic journey. Here you see the fully customised shipping container that houses the mobile kitchen.

After a count down, the participating folks in the Singapore Takeout were revealed- Andre Chiang (Restaurant Andre), Janice Wong (2am:dessertbar), Eric Teo (Manderin Oriental Hotel Group), Ryan Clift (Tippling Club), Armin Leitgab (Les Amis), Willin Low (Wild Rocket), Benjamin Seck (True Blue Cuisine), Haikal Johari and Ignatius Chan (Iggy's).

Chef Janice Wong served up canapes at the media event.

Pardon the photos as white balance was pretty hard with the lights changing colour every few seconds.

Xiaolongbao with a bit of chocolate anyone? This was intriguing with the cocoa notes just coming at the end.

Or how about Chef Janice's cool take on ice kacang? It was an icy dessert though quite different from the usual bowl of ice kacang.

There were also laksa dumplings with a gingery-lemony (lemongrass?) jelly. Pretty refreshing with the fragrant spices and a pleasant tartness from the jelly.

Chef Janice really gives Singapore dishes/flavours a very modern interpretation. Being a dessert specialist, she seems to infuse her dishes (even savoury ones!) with her own sweet touch.

And what are the above? Salted caramel popcorns. They tasted salty and sweet with an interesting texture of liquid-nitrogen-frozen marshmallow (not that I've tasted one before but I think it would have a similar texture. Moohahaha)

Rocher magnums are melty, silky chocolate rounds on picks. Having this go round at a party looks cool eh?

So which cities will Singapore Takeout visit? London, Paris, Moscow, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Delhi, Dubai, Sydney! Each stopover will be for just 3 days so blink and you'll miss it!

Singapore Takeout
June 2011 - April 2012

Thanks to Samantha of Ate Consultancy for the invite.

Chew On This: SPICE is backed by the Singapore Tourism Board, IE Singapore and SPRING Singapore. Don't pray pray.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Fat Boys Burgers

"Fat Boys, Fat Boys. What you gonna do when they come for you?"

Eat! Moohahaha.

Was deciding between Fat Boys and the Fat Cat for dinner with some friends. Ended up at Fat Boys as it was deemed more cooling with the Fat Cat looking like it does not have air con.

Tsk tsk. But it this heat, can't blame lah.

Anyway, I quite enjoyed my burger- The Burgatory ($12.50). It had a beef patty slathered in Chilli Queso and sliced jalapenos. A little bit of heat in an ang moh way.

Thick cut fries, tomato slice and lettuce accompanied all burgers here.

For something with more colourful, healthy pigments, opt for the Bushtucker ($13). This had beef patty, beets, bacon, emmenthal cheese, wild arugula and garlic aoili sandwiched between wholewheat buns. Delicious combi.

But the most interesting burger to me that evening was the Elvis ($11). A pork and bacon patty was paired with bananas and peanut butter, and held together with honey oat buns. It all sounded a little odd but turned out to be well...interesting. Really! The sweetness of the banana and pork contrasted with the savouriness of the peanut butter and bacon. I could eat this burger though a Basterd size (like in the above photo, $16) which comes with double the ingredients would prove too much of a good thing for me.

We ordered the Crispy Hot Wings ($10.50 for 10 pieces), thinking it would be a good snack to munch on before the burgers but it arrived after them burgers. Oh well. Anyway, to be more exact, these were drumlets rather than wings. It was relatively tasty though a tad dry (over-fried maybe?) and could pack more spicy punch.

A Macadamia Nut Milkshake ($6.50) which was thick and sweet with nutty honey tones, rounded up dinner.

Then it was time to adjourn a few doors down to Joo Joo for some Asahi and grilled salmon fish head! Moohahaha.

Fat Boys
465 Joo Chiat Road (other outlet at 187 Upper Thomson Road)
Tel: 6346 6081
Opens: Daily noon till late (Kitchen closes at 10.30pm Mon-Thurs; 12.30am Fri-Sun)

Chew On This: After 10pm, pints go for $10 each! They close late so it's a pretty nice spot to hang out and nurse a pint or two.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

A Cow's Moo-sing on GE 2011

So it seems besides shopping and food, Singaporeans now have another interest- General Election 2011. And how not to be excited?

Rallies attracted more people than S-League matches and could rival megachurches here; the vibes more exciting than Singapore Idol. Being my second time voting, I am very excited!

In the past, the opposition has always been more low-key and sometimes a bit of a joke. They also struggle with getting messages across to the public. But this elections, with the rampant use of social media (YouTube, Facebook, blogs, Twitter), messages/ideas/propaganda get spread around quickly. Opposition candidates are also seen as better qualified and of a higher calibre than before. Kudos to them on projecting an improved image!

I went to a WP rally in Bedok and it was swarmed! Singaporeans standing in an open field for 3 hours without complaining is making a serious statement. Add the rain and mud to that and it becomes very unSingaporean-like.

Anyway it's often easy to point out mistakes and faults but who's to say that if the opposition forms a government, it won't also make mistakes?

The ruling PAP, on the other hand, has never seemed more shaken. For once, I think they feel the heat judjing by the boo boo comments some PAP leaders have made. But the pressure's good too. Mistakes were acknowledged, apologies delivered, promises of more engagement and listening to the people were made.

I feel that while many want more voices and representation in parliament rather than the dominance of one party, they also wish that the PAP would remain the government. It's currently the only (even by the opposition's own admission) party capable to form the government and has brought about stability and growth. The danger is when the opposition wins majority and forms the government, I think we all better start praying.

Personally, I think the PAP will remain as the ruling party while the opposition will get a few more seats. Only time will tell. Should the PAP win, it will have lots of work to remain relevant and responsive to the people. Should the opposition win, they will have to live up to all that hot air rara-ing at the rallies. Whatever the results, the people have already won.

It's nice seeing Singaporeans showing interest, taking a steak stake in the next generation of leaders and making a stand. Sitting on the fence will probably constitute to damaging public property and beget a fine.

God Bless Singapore.

Oh and if SM Goh loses, it will be because of two young women. I hope voters vote with their hearts and minds and not with their eyes. This is not Miss Singapore contest hor. LOL.

Chew On This: When faced with a decision if to eat eg wanton mee or mee rebus, I usually end up with both. Unfortunately, voting in the GE is much more serious. I need to think ....Will I want to eat wanton mee or mee rebus for the next 5 years? Which will be better for me?

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Another Good Simpang Bedok Cze Char

My favourite cze char stall at Simpang Bedok has been Hock Leng Seafood later known as Simpang Kitchen, now known as Simpang @ Ease. But there's another cze char stall that also has been around for a while- Hock Lai Heng Restaurant.

And the food is pretty good with an old school charm.

Claypot Fish Head ($18) was essentially a good one pot dish. The fish head was coated with flour and fried before being braised with celery, yam, pork belly, corn, egg tofu etc. The brown gravy was given an added smoothness with the raw egg mixed into its heat. Very tasty with rice.

I found the Gao Geh Soup ($4) aka Boxthorn soup to be average. Plenty of ingredients though! I do like their dark green, slightly bitter leaves that are good source of vitamin A and iron.

A dish to savour here would be the Dry Curry Pork Ribs ($8). The pork ribs were fried in a fragrant and spicy curry paste with what I thought included blue ginger, lemongrass, shallot etc. Really appetising and great with rice!

We also tried a cze char staple- Hor Fun ($3.50). Decent with nicely-fried hor fun. Some wok hei. Though the seafood could have been fresher.

I'll be back to check out their other dishes! Will drool at the memory of their Dry Curry Pork Ribs in the meanwhile. :p

Hock Lai Heng Restaurant
294 Bedok Road
Tel: 6243 1732 ‎
Opens: 11am-2pm for lunch on weekdays except public holidays; 6pm onwards for dinner

Chew On This: The guy who took our orders was helpful with suggestions and not pushy at all! In fact, he was worried that we might over order as portions are hearty. Now, if only all other restaurants/cze char places were like that instead of pushing for expensive seafood items.