Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Lure of Cheapness

Sometimes, cheapness works. It was post-dinner anyway and we were walking around I12 Katong for a place to have drinks. Then from 5m away I saw the sign "Happy Hours". Upon inspecting the menu, the phrases "1-for-1 beers", "50% off snacks" and "1-for-1 mains" ushered us right into The Cartel Bistro. Damn that waiter. Moohahaha.
I'm such a slut for cheap beer. :p The pint of Kronenberg Blanc ($10.70) works out to be just $6.25 after 1-for-1! A light, refreshing beer bursting with pomelo and grapfruit notes.

The Chicken Wings Basket ($4.32 after 50% discount) was well-fried. Pity the marinate didn't really flavour the meat enough.

A smart moove by the bistro- to qualify for 1-for-1 mains, one has to add $3.90 to the mains to get a "set" comprising of:

A bowl of soup (it was Cream of Chicken that evening) and garlic bread.

The set also comes with coffee or tea.

Below are the 1-for-1 mains we tried.

Hawaiian Pork Chop (U.P. $18.50) was a very generous portion of 3 bone-in pork cutlets with what seemed like a mushroom brown sauce and pineapple slices. Again, the flavour department lacked heaps. It was under-salted, with little flavour.

The Mississippi Chicken (U.P. $16.50)- crispy fried chicken with some sauce on it, served with fries and salad.

I found the food to be not really good here but it has a nice al fresco porch and cheap beer, making it a cosy chill out spot as long as this is not dinner. LOL. Service was pretty good though!

If you're keen to try them, please call the bistro to enquire regarding the promos mentioned here.

A happy Friday night memoory! :D Sometimes all I need are cheap chilled beers and a nice chillax place.
The Cartel Bistro
I12 Katong
Tel: 6636 3327

Chew On This:
The soup comes on a metal stand that elevates the bowl up a bit so one won't have to bend too low to slurp up soup.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Macallan & Lalique Presents...

Reknown whisky brand The Macallan and legendary French crystal house Lalique presents The Macallan in Lalique Curiously Small Stills decanter. Containing the exceptionally rare 60-year-old Macallan single malt whisky, a limited number of only 400 of such decanters, each individually numbered, are made. The selling price? A cool $26,888.

Ok, I heard the pin drop. Moohaha. So mooving right along.

The 17-year-old Fine Oak Macallan single malt was served to guests that evening. The Fine Oak series are made using Spanish and American oak casks both seasoned with sherry, and American oak casks seasoned with bourbon. 

I am not that farmiliar with whiskies but I'm happy to learn moore. My thoughts on the Macallan 17-year-old Fine Oak Single Malt on the rocks with a tiny splash of water- a sweet nose of vanilla and floral accents. Dry orange peel and toffee on the palate. Pretty smooth. It was a nice way to end a busy work day.

Here's the cow with my whisky-sipping, cigar-puffing kung fu master friend, Kenny! Yes, yes. The Chinese are buying all the expensive whiskies and wines by the cart-load. LOL.

Thanks to Gwen Lee of Fulford PR for the invitation.

The Macallan in Lalique Curiously Small Stills decanter is available from Beam Global Asia at  6559 1155.
Chew On This: A one-of-its-kind artwork, housing one of The Macallan in Lalique Curiously Small Stills decanter, was aunctioned off for $36,890 that evening! All proceeds were donated to The Business Times Budding Artists Fund. :)   

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Father's Day Dinner at Canton Paradise

For Father's Day, we were deciding between bringing dad for Chinese roast meats or German pork knuckles or Ang Moh lamb rack. Meats he like. LOL. In the end we decided Chinese was the way to go that night.  

We made reservations at Canton Paradise at the fairly new I12 Katong. It was our family's first time at the restaurant and my parents first time at the new shopping centre. Macchiam adventure. Moohehe.

The BBQ Combination of 3 Varieties ($22) allowed us to pick 3 roast meats. Unfortunately both versions of char siew were sold out! @#$%^&; So we ended up with the Crackling Pork Belly (meaty and would have been moore awesome if crackling was more crisp), Signature Roast Duck and Steamed Kampung Chicken in Canton Style (rustic and simple). Portion wise was good for 2-3 people but would suffice for 4 if one ordered more of other dishes. My favourite here was the duck- tender with good bite and a very fragrant skin! :D

Simple dish of Stir-Fried Kai Lan with Garlic ($12.80). The stalks were peeled and trimmed to expose only the tender stems. In addition to the minced garlic that was used to stir-fry the veggie, there was a sprinkling of fried chopped garlic that added texture and fragrance. Nice touch and details to a simple dish.

We ordered the Steamed "Ling Zhi" Spring Water Tofu with Minced Pork and Salted Fish ($12.80) because dad likes salted fish. I'm not sure which spring the water is from but the tofu was smooth and clean-tasting. The minced pork patty with bits of salted fish was tasty and beckoned for rice. Interesting to note that the tofu took on a different colour (purplish) if you leave it for a certain time. Not sure why though?

Steamed Fish Head with Minced Garlic and Ginger ($16.80) featured steamed Song fish aka Snakehead with copious amount of chopped garlic, ginger and spring onions. As with most freshwater fish, there is a slight "muddy" taste but the chopped aromatics certainly helped. Pretty appetising and good with rice.

Oh and we did order a Fan Kok (arrowroot) Soup ($16.80 for a pot; good for 4 pax) but I forgot to take a shot! :p

Happy Father's Day, pa!

I12 Katong
Tel: 6344 8201
Opens: Monday-Friday 11am-10pm
Saturday, Sunday & PH 10.30am-10pm

Chew On This:
Corkage is just $10. I found this bottle of Bordeaux lying around in the wine fridge so decided to kill this. Past its prime but still ok drinking with softness and currants.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Foodie Fuel

I had this for lunch one Saturday and was beaming through out the day. Moohaha. The Char Kway Teow ($3 for small) here was very moist, flavourful and dotted with crunchy pork lard! The whole mix of sweet, savoury, spicy, crunchy, soft, smooth, chewy was udderly delicious.

Faster go when there's no queue! But if have, patience will be rewarded. 

No.18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow
Stall 17
Zion Road Riverside Food Centre
Opens: 12pm-3pm; 6pm-11pm Daily

Chew On This: This stall is apparently the favourite of CEOs! While I was queueing there, I spotted a man who parked his Rolls Royce before collecting a few packets of CKT. Those noodles rode in luxury!  

Friday, June 15, 2012

Random Moosic

When I was just a little calf
I asked my moother: "What will I be?"
Will I be hungry? Will I be starved?
This is what she said to me

Hey cowie, cowie
Whatever will be, will be
Can also eat from the sea
Surely won't mati!

Moohahaha! Thought up this little song while waiting for a bus on one tired evening. Amoozing when and where inspiration strikes.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Grazing at Dann's Daily

After my first visit to Dann's Daily over a year ago, this hungry cow returns to graze at this pescetarian cafe.

Probably easily moo favourite that evening was the Fish Soup ($10; add $2 for QQ noodles). Wait the above doesn't look like fish soup... It's the dry version lah. Moohehehe. Super QQ noodles were such a delight to bite into and the savoury dressing, raw sprouts and moist pieces of fish made this complete meal so delicious that I tinhk tyipng wuold be dfficlut.

Yikes. Did I say complete meal? Choi! LOL. There was moo-re to come.

Non-animal sourced proteins aren't limited to just tofu. The Organic Quinoa ($8) is packed with proteins and makes for a light starter (or mains for the small grazers). I think this would be refreshing especially on a hot sunny day. All I needed was a bit more salt in here.

Speaking of refreshing....try the Soy Chia Chia ($7)- it's a chilled milky drink made of soy and chia seeds. A pretty substantial drink and full of omega-3, this could be a great liquid breakfast. It had a bit of caramel/gula melaka taste from the organic carob syrup and the chia seeds provided a mix of jellied and crunchy texture.

The Otah Japanese Cucumber Wholemeal Triangle Toasties ($5) were quite spicy and I like that the fish was chunky. Also. nothing like a cool slice of cucumber to soothe the heat.

Vegetarian Salad ($7) was a bowl of mixed greens and sprouts with a pumpkin patty.

Wholewheat Tortilla Set A ($15) had a crisp shell filled with mushroom, cheese and fish but unfortunately it turned out to be kinda one-dimensional in terms of flavour after a while. Love the potato crisps though!
Desserts came in the form of Steamed Cupcakes that were made with organic raw sugar and unbleached flour. These were more dense, sticky and substantial than usual cupcakes so think of them as more like huat kueh! :p

The Pandan Cupcake ($3; nearest to bottom edge in above photo) had the natural flavour of pandan and was topped with chocolate cream. The Strawberry Cupcake ($4; top left) had a good strawberry flavour without the nasty artificial flavouring that I dislike. Fan of gula melaka should try the Gula Melaka Cupcake ($3; top right). The palm sugar added a gentle yet fragrant sweetness while the grated coconut imparted an extra flavour and texture dimension. Makes me wanna moo. LOL. 

Thanks to Xing and Paul for the invitation and for hosting this hungry cow.

Dann's Daily
#01-06 Eastwood Centre
20 Eastwood Road
Tel: 6449 1355 
Opens: Tuesdays-Sundays: 10am-8pm
Closed: Mondays

Chew On This:

A small selection of olive oils, organic carob syrup, chia seeds, potato chips, organic soy milk, fairtrade tea & coffee etc are available for sale here.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Finally Tried Zaffron Kitchen!

Zaffron Kitchen has been one of those places that I seem to always want to check out but somehow never did. Eons later, I finally did after walking by it for the umpteenth time and deciding to return for it the next day. Boys and girls, procrastination is.....never mind, I tell you later. Moohahaha.
Opt for the Tandoori Mixed Grill ($28)- a platter perfect for sharing between two. Consisting of chicken tikka, malai tikka, fish tikka and seekh mutton kebab, this plate offers variety from the tandoor. The meats were generally nicely grilled and juicy. Dab a little mint sauce for extra flavour.

I also tried the Palak Paneer ($11.50) which also turned out to be good. Firm Indian cottage cheese with the texture akin to firm tau kwa was smothered in a creamy spinach sauce gently accented with a bit of ginger. I gladly mopped up the sauce with the naan.

Speaking of which, the Garlic Naan ($4) was excellent! Hot, fluffy and chewy, it was a delight to tear apart and dip into sauces/gravies. The Basmati Briyani Rice ($4.50) had a delicate flavour and had hardly much oil. Certainly good for the health-conscious with lighter palate. 

I should return to try their curries and spicy dishes. Chants "Moost not procrastinate. Moost not procrastinate."

Zaffron Kitchen
135/137 East Coast Road
Tel: 6440 6786
Opens: Monday to Thursday:              11.30am-10pm
            Friday, Eve of P.H. and P.H.: 11:30am-10:30pm
            Saturday & Sunday:                9:30am-10:30pm

Chew On This:
There's a play corner for kiddos to monkey around while mummies and daddies makan! Cool.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Restaurant Week Lunch @ Salt Grill & Sky Bar

Had a nice lunch catching up with Daniel at Luke Mangan's Salt Grill & Sky Bar at the previous Restaurant Week. The 3-course set lunch costs $55++ per person.

A private lift brought guests up to the restaurant on the 55th floor. We were shown to our table located at the edge of the restaurant. It made for a nice view. :)

There were 2 choices of starters, 2 mains and 1 dessert so we did the sensible thing- order to share everything to try the whole Restaurant Week menu. Moohehe.

The Glass Sydney Crab Omelette with Miso Mustard Broth was a concoction of simple and tasty flavours. Fluffy omelette soaked in the warm broth was pretty comforting.

I can't recall the exact name of the other starter but it featured beet root and white beans. Lots of textures but I found it to be a little bland. Maybe it needed some salt. Irony! 
For the mains, the fish option of Barramundi with Coconut Broth and Sydney Spices was yummy. Tender fish with perfumed, Asian, curry-like flavours.

The other main of Slow Cooked Pork was also pretty good. Well-balanced flavours that came together nicely.

For dessert, I think the Licorice Parfait with Lime Syrup was an acquired taste. Give anyone a chocolate dessert and chances are it will be well received. With licorice, it's either one likes it or hates it. I found the licorice flavour a little overpowering for my liking but the perky touch of lime does help to make it more enjoyable. 

With its high altitude locale and beautiful views, Salt Grill & Sky Bar is a nice spot for a relaxing lunch....or a romantic dinner. I just wonder how the non-Restaurant Week menu fares...

Level 55 & 56
ION Orchard
Tel: 6592 5118

Chew On This: Visually.